Not everything is fair about ’s forced outages | Pakistan Today

Not everything is fair about ’s forced outages

Some higher ups in Ministry of Power are deliberately creating problem for the Punjab government by deliberately cutting down supply and carrying out unscheduled outages, which is increasing public anger and disappointment, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Highly placed sources in the ministry said the demand had reduced in the country and there was no point of conducting unscheduled load shedding but even then Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) was carrying it out. They said during the summer National Power Control Centre’s (NPCC) excuse was the extra burden on the system but this was not the case during winter. This attitude of PEPCO and NPCC is causing disappointment in people and they were blaming the Punjab government, they said.
The power shortfall also increased on Wednesday and crossed 6,000MW in the country resulting in long hours of power closure.
ODD TIMINGS: Interestingly, sources said, the NPCC opted for the oddest times for forced load shedding including carrying outages early in the morning or in the evening. For instance, the forced load shedding is carried out in Lahore at 7am to 8am or sometimes from 7:30am to 9pm, they said, adding that this was the time when everyone is getting ready for schools and offices. Similarly, outages during the evening from 6pm to 10 pm were the hallmark of PEPCO and NPCC these days, they said, adding that during this time people return home and are looking forward to being comfortable.
It is pertinent to mention that last year, PEPCO adhered to a load shedding schedule but this year all outages are forced. The current wave of load shedding started in the last week of December 2011 and it will continue till funds are not issued to the IPPs by the Ministry of Finance.
NOT STICKING TO PLAN: Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) sources said a couple of weeks ago LESCO received a shut down plan of eight hours for the city of Lahore and 10 hours for rural areas but currently there is no schedule and power could be closed at any time. “Power can be cut at any time and restored at any time,” said an official at Kot Lakhpat Grid Station. He said during summer the grid stations were closed over the pretext of extra load on system but now there is no such situation. “Unscheduled and forced load shedding during summer is carried out by NPCC to save the transmission system but in the winter there is no load and no point of carrying out forced load shedding,” he added.
LAHORE THE MAIN VICTIM: LESCO official seeking anonymity said currently Lahore was worst hit by load shedding, as it was being supplied with 1,100MW only while its demand was 2,000-2,100MW. He confirmed that there is no load management plan and power could be closed by THE NPCC at any time. NPCC General Manager System Operation Muhammad Masood Akhtar did not attend his phone despite repeated contacts.

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