LAHORE: The citizens of the provincial capital on Tuesday experienced unannounced and prolonged power outage as the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) failed to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity as promised.
The hours-long and unscheduled load shedding not just added to the scorching heat but also exposed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PLM-N) led government’s false claims of ending the menace of load shedding by 2018.
While according to the details, residents of Shahdara, Imamia Colony, Bismillah Colony, Manawan, Jalo Mor, Harbanspura, Johar Town, Ali Town, WAPDA Town, Township, Green Town and Nishtar Colony faced the unscheduled load shedding, they also complained that LESCO officials were not listening to their complaints and the helpline numbers provided on the electricity bills were unreachable.
Moreover, several citizens complained of electronics being left damaged owing to the low voltage.
Sources in the power sector informed that LESCO was being supplied 2,700MW electricity from the national grid, whereas the demand was 3,500MW. They told Pakistan Today that many areas were being provided with low voltage, which was definitely harmful to household appliances. “Power companies have no other option but to supply low voltage electricity to the people,” they added.
On Monday as well as Tuesday, reports highlighting unannounced and massive load shedding were received from different districts of Punjab including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Nankana Sahib, Hafizabad, Multan, Wazirabad, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Okara, Faisalabad, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh. People from most parts of the country, including all the provincial capitals, complained that they were facing hours long load shedding. Besides this, the people of south and central Punjab, as well as interior Sindh, have been facing up to 10 hours of blackouts and the situation is no better in rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.
Sources in the energy sector revealed that the gap between the generation of electricity and its demand had topped 5,500MW. They told that currently, the national grid station was receiving 14,500MW electricity against the demand of 19,500MW. “The upcoming days will be very crucial as the shortfall may rise up to 8,000MW considering the fact that the demand persists at 22,000MW during the months of June and July,” they added.
Meanwhile, National Transmission Dispatch Company said that the power outage on Tuesday was in result of the closure of three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants namely Haveli Bahadur, Bhiki and Baloki. “Due to the closure of these power plants, the national grid faced a shortfall of 3,600MW,” he said and added that four units of the Chashma Power Plant, producing 1,200MW of electricity, had also been shut for the day.
LESCO spokesman Imran Afzal told Pakistan Today that load shedding was not being observed by the company. However, he said that the power outage on Tuesday was due to the closure of Chashma Plant’s power generation units.
“The situation would be under control within the next 24 hours,” he added.