ISLAMABAD: With a rise in temperature, tall claims of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government regarding controlling hours-long power outages are proving to be short-lived, as unannounced/unscheduled load shedding return.
Reportedly, 14 to 18 hours’ long unannounced and unscheduled power load shedding was recorded on Sunday in rural areas, while up to 12 hours power cuts in the cities worsened the situation for the citizens, who had to bear with not just sweltering heat but in some cases water shortage too. The unannounced/unscheduled power outages spoiled the day-off for most of the population. People thronged the streets to protest against the outages amid scorching heat.
Protest demonstrations were reported from different areas of the country. The National Weather Forecast Centre of the Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted mainly hot and dry weather for most parts of the country during the next two to three days. According to the weather update, temperature has increased in Lahore, Multan and other areas of Punjab, while it reached 40 degrees Celsius in most areas of Sindh and Balochistan, on Sunday.
Although the PML-Nawaz government has made tall claims on several occasions that it has controlled the power outages by enhancing power generation, miseries of the masses due to the unannounced and unscheduled power outages have grown. Meanwhile, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) on Sunday portrayed a rosy picture of the power situation. It said that power generation has reached 11,000MW against the demand of 13,100MW. The hydropower generation stands at 3,050MW, thermal 1,535MW, and IPPs 6,415MW.
When contacted, energy experts deplored the resumption of unannounced/unscheduled power load shedding. They said that the incumbent government has so far failed to decrease electricity woes of the nation. “The emerging demand and supply gap amid rising mercury level, it is no exaggeration to say that power shortfall in peak summer season would shoot well over 4,000MW,” an expert said. Political pundits have predicted that increase in the duration of power load shedding ahead of the peak summer season is enough to lower the popularity graph of the incumbent regime whose ministers have been making tall claims regarding controlling power load shedding. Hours’ long power cuts would trigger protest demonstration across the country.
According to media reports, with the onset of summer heat the consumption of electricity has went up, increasing the gap between the generation and consumption of electricity in the country causing immense problems for the people, including water shortage in rural and urban areas of Sindh and Punjab, where the people complained of 14 to 16 hours of outages. People in Jamshoro went on a shutter-down strike in protest against the unannounced prolonged load shedding, while citizens staged a sit-in on the Indus Highway. The business community in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranawala, Gujrat and other industrial areas are incurring huge business losses due to the prolonged power outages.
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