PM finally wakes up to unannounced power blackouts

* Heads of distribution companies to be removed in case the situation does not improve

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has finally taken serious notice of unannounced and unprecedented power outages, and directed the authorities to immediately end them, warning the top officials at distribution companies (DISCOs) of action in case the situation did not improve.
People across the country are facing severe power cuts while the whole country reels under humid and hot weather conditions. 
Frequent power outages have paralysed the businesses, industry and civic life, while the situation is expected to get worse in the coming days. 
This scenario is likely to dent the popularity graph of the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government that made tall claims on several occasions that it had controlled the energy crisis by enhancing power generation. 
Well-placed sources at the Water and Power Ministry told Daily Times that PM Nawaz Sharif had ordered the authorities to end unannounced power cuts without any delay. The PM also made it loud and clear that if unscheduled power load shedding continued, the chief executive officers (CEOs) of the DISCOs concerned would be taken to task.
“The PM has ordered [the authorities] to implement the power load shedding schedule in letter and spirit, and if his instructions are not followed, the DISCO chiefs [concerned] would bear the brunt and be kicked out,” claimed a senior official in a telephonic conversation with this scribe.
When contacted, National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) spokesman Colonel (r) Sajid said that Nawaz Sharif had also directed the authorities to establish control centres at all DISCOs for the monitoring of power situation, and also to resolve the complaints of consumers.
Reportedly, 12 to 18 hours of power load shedding was recorded on Thursday in the rural areas, while cities, including the federal capital, experienced up to 12 hours of power cuts, triggering acute water shortage.
Meanwhile, unannounced power outages forced the common man to hit the streets in protest amid scorching heat.
Meanwhile, the NTDC portrayed a rosy picture of the power situation by declaring that the shortfall stands at only 2,700MW. 
It said that power generation reached 11,200MW against the demand of 13,900MW. Hydropower generation stood at 4,300MW, thermal at 1,500MW, and IPPs at 5,400MW on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 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 24 hours, while dust storm/rain is expected at isolated places of Malakand, Hazara, DI Khan, Quetta, Zhob, Kallat, Makran, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Lahore divisions, besides Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, during the next 48 hours. This change in weather is expected to reduce the wave of heat to some extent.
On the other hand, political leaders, including Bilawal Bhutto, Imran Khan, Sirajul Haq and Khurshid Shah have predicted that increase in the duration of power load shedding ahead of the peak summer season was enough to lower the popularity graph of the incumbent regime, whose ministers had been making tall claims regarding controlling power load shedding. 
It is likely that various political forces, with help of hapless masses, will soon announce their strategy regarding staging protest demonstration against the ‘so called’ load shedding schedule of the incumbent government.

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