Islamabad- Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif today apologized to the nation for the unscheduled and prolonged hours of load shedding throughout the country. Addressing a joint press conference with State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali over load shedding, Khawaja Asif said that all-out efforts are being made to improve power generation and supply system to overcome load shedding. He said there is a shortfall of 7,000MW electricity which has resulted in massive load shedding, adding that the demand of electricity stood at 19,000 megawatt against the production of 12,000MW.” He said the government will have to take immediate measures to stop power theft and line losses to overcome the crisis besides setting up new power generation houses to improve the situation. He appealed to the people to be economical with the electricity so that all areas could be adjusted. The minister said despite huge shortfall, the government has ensured smooth power supply to the industry during the last seven months for ensuring industrial development and increasing production. He feared that the nation may have to face the same situation if the weather remains hot and dry for which the government was apologetic. The minister said the PML-N-led government was trying to add 6-7,000MW of electricity within two to three years in the system. He further explained that nine power plants were shut down due to hot weather because of which 1300MW were not supplied to the grid stations. During the holy month of Ramazan, the government has failed to keep up with the tall claims pertaining to ‘minimizing power cuts’. With the mercury upsurging towards 40 degrees Celsius, the ghost of unannounced and unremitting load shedding is haunting Ramazan observers. The urban areas continue to face load shedding for 12 to 14 hours whereas in rural areas it ranges from 18 to 20 hours.