LAHORE: The commitment of federal government to end unannounced loadshedding is being dishonored again as three to four hours long consecutive suspension in power supply has been order of the day.
Power generation is apparently in complete disorder and bad governance is leading to non-functioning of thermal plants due to scarcity of fuel and chronic maintenance issues.
Resultantly, shortfall of electricity increased to 7000 MW, making lives of the masses hellish. Prime minister and successive ministers for water and power have been trying to give a solace to the masses by giving commitment of conducting scheduled loadshedding besides reducing its intensity.
During a meeting of energy committee, which was chaired by the prime minister in Islamabad on January 2, 2012, it was decided to adopt efficient load management and its schedule may be managed so that the consumers can have predictability, thus minimizing the adverse impacts of power outages. However, the menace of loadshedding is spreading its tentacles.
According to a spokesman of National Transmission and Despatch Company, Kot Addu Power Company, having capacity of generating 876 MW, was non functional due to lack of fuel because of lingering problem of circular debt.
Moreover, Orient Power having capacity of 213 MW, Hubco 300 MW, Halmore 207 MW and Saif 210 MW are out of system due to non-provision of oil. Oil stock position at all RFO-based plants was critically low, adversely affecting thermal generation, as per daily report of newly-established Energy Management Cell.
Meanwhile, power outage hours climbed to 18 to 22 hours daily as electricity shortfall has widened to more than 7000 megawatts, resulting in unbearable heat which took lives to three persons in the Punjab.
People in such cities as Faisalabad, Shahkot, Darya Khan, Chishtian, Baseera, Chakwal and Sargodha came out on roads and protested against loadshedding by burning tyres and damaging public properties.
In Chak 54 Sargodha, a man died of heart failure while going to mosque for offering Juma prayer while in Basira a woman Jannat Bibi died in market due to scorching heat. In Sillanwali, a driver died while several other people fell unconscious due to extreme weather.