LAHORE - The Lahore Electric Supply Company has been carrying out electricity shutdown of three to five hours in urban areas while rural areas are facing electricity loadshedding of more than eight hours, besides frequent tripping and low voltage.

Lesco officials said that it has been facing a shortfall of more than 600MW, besides overloading of grids and transmission system which is the major reason of the hike in duration of power tripping along with cut in hydel power production due to less release of water.

Moreover, the technical faults and overloading of Sheikhupura grid station is also the important reasons behind the remerging of power crisis in the country, they added. They said that at national level, total power shortfall has surged to 2,500MW, as the total demand was around 22,000MW while generation was around 20,000MW, showing a gap of over 2,000MW. The total general of 20,000MW included 5,900MW (hydel), 1,500MW (GENCOs), 10,500MW (IPPs), 750MW (wind) and 925MW (nuclear) etc. They said, the current electricity shortfall has crossed the edge of 2,000MW as rural and urban areas across the country are facing 4 to 10 hours electricity loadshedding respectively.

They said that the caretaker government is reluctant to produce power to avoid the increase in the cost of electricity despite the fact that capacity is available.

Lesco officials said that the suburbs of Okara, Kasur, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib, which are considered as high loss feeders, are facing more power shutdowns as compared to the urban areas.

Experts have refuted the claims of past government regarding loadshedding, stating that more than 60 percent of the feeders across the province were facing loadshedding. The citizens of the provincial capital said that they are experiencing unannounced power outages as Lesco failed to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity as promised.

While residents of Manawan, Jalo Mor, Harbanspura, Johar Town, Ali Town, Wapda Town, Township, Green Town, Nishtar Colony Multan Road, Shahdara and Imamia Colony faced the unscheduled loadshedding, they also complained that Lesco officials were not listening to their complaints.

And the helpline numbers provided on the electricity bills were unreachable.

Moreover, several citizens complained of electronics being left damaged owing to the low voltage.

The officials said that as per policy, loadshedding is being carried out for two hours daily on feeders facing below 20 percent losses and six hours on those showing above 30 percent losses.