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Islamabad News
January 10,2015

People perturbed over long hours of power outages even in winter season

Saeed Ahmed & Khalid Iqbal
Rawalpindi
The residents of Rawalpindi are facing long hours of unscheduled loadshedding in the peak winter season, which has made their life miserable. The concerned authorities seem helpless to cope with the situation.
The residents are facing 12- to 16-hour power outages in majority of localities, while those living at Adiala Road, Defence Road, Sher Zaman Colony, Gorakhpur, Rawat, Humak and several other localities are facing 1-hour loadshedding after every 15 minutes of restoration of power on Thursday night and Friday.
Angry residents of Adiala Road, Defence Road, Mubarak Lane, Sher Zaman Colony and Munawar Colony on Friday blocked main Adiala Road, raised slogans against the government for not providing electricity even in the peak winter season. The angry residents proceeded to the Iesco Adiala Sub-Division Office but all staff members ran away before their arrival.
People residing in other localities, including Lalazar, Kamalabad, Dhoke Syedan, Tariqabad, Dhamial, Dheri Hassanabad, Dhoke Chiraghdin, Chamanzar Colony, Tipu Road, Dhoke Khabba, Dhoke Farman Ali, Ratta Amral, Gawalmandi, Banni, Asghar Mall, Satellite Town, Sadiqabad, Muslim Town and Liaquat Road, are experiencing power shutdown after every one hour.
Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Malik Dost Muhammad told 'The News' that consumers are facing forced loadshedding due to less power generation. "The problem would be resolved and situation would become normal soon," he said in a policy statement. "In the prevailing situation, we are facing worst kind of power shortfall due to cleaning of canals," he said.
The concerned authorities had issued a 6-hour loadshedding schedule daily in winter, but residents of majority of localities, particularly Al-Mumtaz Colony, Defence Road, Sher Zaman Colony, Pirwadhai, Jhanda Chichi, Humak, Satellite Town, Asghar Mall, Chur, Gulistan Colony, Rawat and several other areas of the city and cantonment are facing 12- to 16-hour power outages.
However, the residents living in rural areas around Rawalpindi and Islamabad are facing more than 16 hours of power outages.
Reliable sources told 'The News' that in fact the government has once again failed to pay money to independent power producers (IPPs), therefore, people have to endure long hours of loadshedding.
Talking to 'The News,' enraged people said that the government should accept its failure in providing uninterrupted power supply even during the peak winter season. What would happen in summer season, they asked.
Shahzad Ahmed, a resident of Mohanpura, said that they were facing 1-hour loadshedding after a 1-hour break. "I wonder what would happen in the peak summer season," he said.
Nisar Ahmed, another resident, said that we were already facing zero gas pressure but long hours of loadshedding added fuel to fire. "We cannot continue our business activities when there is neither gas nor electricity," he denounced.
All Pakistan Traders Association President Shaikh Muhammad Saddique strongly opposed the government policies. He said that the government was not serious in resolving the genuine problems of people from the very first day.
However, commenting over the prevailing state of affairs, one of the high officials, requesting anonymity, said that the Punjab government was working on certain power projects in order to resolve the crisis of electricity. He informed that these projects are underway and likely to be completed by June this year. With the completion of these projects, the problem of power loadshedding would be reduced by 50 per cent. More power projects were in the pipeline which would be enforced to end the power crisis on permanent basis within three to four years.
On the other hand, one of the senior officials of Iesco, on condition of anonymity, commenting over increase in duration of power breakdowns, said that his organisation deals with the power distribution while Pepco is responsible to generate power. He observed that there are no rains and water level in Tarbela and Mangla dams has fallen. Moreover, due to non-occurrence of rains and continuation of dry spell, harvesting of crops need water. He said for supplying water to crops, spillways of both dams were opened, resulting in further decrease in water level is these dams. When power is not generated according to its demand, the supply of electricity becomes hard and power loadshedding is done and timings of it are increased.

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