LAHORE -  The provincial capital’s major localities remained without power for at least seven hours on Saturday, refuting the government’s claims of curtailing loadshedding.

Residents complained of enduring power outages for more than seven hours in localities, including Kot Lakhpat, Garhi Shahu, Dharampura, Harbanspura, Mozang Choongi, Ravi Road, Faisal Park, Nishtar Colony, Samanabad, Choongi Amar Sidhu, Youhanabad, Shahdara, Wahdat Road, McLeod Road, Qila Gujjar Singh, Jallo More, New Garden Town, Model Town, Abbot Road, Mustafabad, Mughalpura, Township and Green Town.

Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) is facing a shortfall of around 1200MW as power allocation is at around 2,000MW while demand is at around 3,200MW, said officials.

In such a situation, the provincial capital remains without electricity for at least seven hours daily, while the rural areas are experiencing power supply suspension for 10 hours.

The duration of loadshedding has suddenly increased to around seven to eight hours daily, as shortfall has crossed over 5000MW in the country mainly due to limited generation from hydel side and majorly owing to halt in power production from independent power producers.

Sources have said that with the outset of summer, the demand for electricity has shot up to 15000MW, while supply has remained at around 11,300MW, causing a shortfall of around 3,500MW, resulting in power outages of up to 7 to 8 hours daily.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Water and Power has claimed that loadshedding is not as bad as is being projected by the media. As summer approaches, the frequency of power cuts increases, and the same has happened this time too, but the government is insisting on calling the media reports exaggerated. “There is not as widespread loadshedding as is being reported,” the ministry maintains.

The ministry further claims that the existing loadshedding hours would be curtailed as the peak demand of 16,000MW would be met after the addition of 9,500MW by March next year.

The increase in loadshedding timings has exposed the government’s performance which had been claiming enhanced power generation of 3,200MW for the last two years.

And the sources have said that the consumers will continue to brave power cuts throughout the summer as the deficit will enhance further with the passage of time due to increase in demand.