Every summer, Pakistanis have to face a scorching spell of heat, and power failures to go with it. Despite being aware of the chronic problem, there is never a workable plan made about how to ease summer suffering.
Every time that there is load shedding of over 14-16 hours, the public is reminded of the promise made by CM Shahbaz Sharif to end load shedding six months after coming into power. Government’s refusal to accept the shortage exceeding 7200MW, a figure that has not changed in the last four years and is often misquoted as 5400MW, has only lead to ineffective policies.
Load shedding in both urban and rural centres of the country has increased. Weather authorities had already warned the government of the heat spell of April. No measures were taken. The promise of adding 6400MW to national grid does not ensure anything in such circumstances, we have heard many such figures, yet we sit in the sweltering dark. The promise is only made to appease the voters during the election year.
The Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, has accepted the lack of inaction and has responded to the order of the National Assembly by announcing that the crisis will end in eight to ten days. This highlights that the government was in a position to act before the crisis hit the country, and it is their lack of planning that leads to the suffering of the public. In such cases, the outrage of the public is justified. While the PML-N has survived the Panama scandal by the skin of its teeth, the power crisis will be the real issue that may bring the PML-N down in the coming elections.