LAHORE - With electricity shortfall reaching 6,000 mega-watt, people are witnessing up to 16-hour worst loadshedding with persisting power cuts of two to three hours both in rural and urban parts of the country. The big cities including Lahore is experiencing 12-hour power cuts whereas the duration in rural areas has reached 16-18 hours daily. Currently 7,500 mw of electricity is being generated whereas the demand has exceeded 13,500 mw, said the sources. The electricity managers, amid the crisis, are stating that about 4,500 mw to 5,000 mw gap between demand and supply will be witnessed this summer, which indicates an average of 10-hour power outages. Although the government has advised the PEPCO to chalk out a strategy for this summer, the duration of outages would not decrease from eight hours during May, June and July. It is expected that the government would invest millions of rupees in the power sector, as a political stunt for the upcoming elections, but the duration of the outages would not decrease, said an official of the PEPCO on the condition of anonymity. After April there would be 18,000 mw to 19,000 mw power demand against 15,000 mw generation capacity, he added. Currently, the official said, the hydel generation was sharing maximum 1,200MW in the energy basket due to dead level of water at Tarbela and Mangla dams.The WAPDA owned GENCOs are generating 1,300 mw against their capacity of 3,000 mw and the rest is produced from independent and rental power plants. The Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) is shutting down power for as long as 10-12 hours in the City and 14 hours in its rural limits. The duration of power cuts is similar in rest of three distribution companies of the Punjab. Reportedly, an average of 14-16 hours blackout is conducted at the feeders of Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) and Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO). According to sources, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) is providing some relief to the residents who are facing an average 10-hour loadshedding. The situation is worse in rural areas of Khyber Pakhtun-khwa, Balochistan and Interior Sindh where the power cuts have exceeded 18 hours, confirmed the sources.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 20-Mar-2012 here.