- People complain their electrical appliances broke down due to tripping, fluctuation, low voltage
- LESCO unable to deal with complaints on time due to shortage of staff, machinery
- Staff demanding money from power consumers for repairs on faulty transformers
The citizens witnessed another day of traumatising electricity load shedding, as the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) failed to ensure uninterrupted power supply even during the hours that were not meant for power cuts.
Unannounced and prolonged power outages continue to mar normal life in almost all cities of the province, making it difficult for the people to carry out their day to day affairs in the holy month of Ramzan.
Although the fasting month of Ramzan is about to conclude, the authorities concerned have failed to keep their promise of uninterrupted power supply.
On Saturday, different areas of Lahore faced long hours of load shedding as the LESCO failed to manage the load control judiciously.
People who were observing fast complained that they were made to suffer by those unbridled power cuts.
Residents of Bhatti Chowk area came out on streets to stage a protest against WAPDA and LESCO. The charged protesters blocked the road for every type of traffic. They complained that their area was without electricity since Friday and despite lodging complaints, power supply to their area was not restored.
Residents of Shahdara complained that they were witnessing unscheduled load shedding for hours. They said that they tried to inquire but no official told them the actual reason behind the power outages.
It may be mentioned that electricity bills have on them contact numbers of regional sub-divisional officers (SDOs) and executive engineers (XENs), but they do not bother to receive calls by complainants.
Reports of power tripping, fluctuation and low voltage were received from almost all parts of Lahore. Many citizens complained that their electrical appliances broke down due to low voltage and tripping.
Compared to urban centres, the situation in rural areas was a lot bad where people had to face up to 15 hours of power outages. Kasur, Chunian, Pattoki, Manga Mandi, Raiwind, Sheikhupura and Ferozwala had the same issue of prolonged power cuts. Several complaints regarding broken down transformers were received from these areas, with people complaining that LESCO officials were using delaying tactics to fix them. They also said that LESCO staff was demanding cost of repairs from them.
Meanwhile, an official in LESCO told Pakistan Today that the announced quota for LESCO was 2,647 Megawatt and it was receiving 3,061 MW which was 414 MW more than its actual share, but still it was short of 270 MW. The LESCO has placed its demand for 3,337 MW with the WAPDA.
The official said currently the LESCO was operating with around 1,500 feeders and was trying to keep them functional. However, he added the areas which were on high-losses feeders had more load shedding. He also said that the LESCO was short of staff as well machinery, so it was unable to deal with complaints on time.
He however admitted that complaints received from posh areas like Gulberg, Defence, Wapda Town and Johar Town were dealt with on a priority basis.