LAHORE - The unending sufferings of the masses have started to further aggravate the situation as the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) has resorted to 8 to 10 hours unannounced loadshedding to meet 3032-MW power shortfall. The long spell of power outages irk people in the severe cold weather as they were expecting to get rid of the menace by the end of December last year because Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf spent the whole year promising to end the loadshedding by December 2009. Pepco official said according to the load situation, the total electricity demand went up to 11729 MW and officials were striving hard to manage a deficit of 3032-MW. At least 6 to 8 hours unscheduled loadshedding is continued in the City while 8 to 10 hours in rural areas, as the so-called public-friendly PPP government has badly failed to overcome this menace despite repeated promises. The local residents say 6 to 8 hours unannounced power outages are disturbing the masses across the Punjab besides badly affecting the business of shopkeepers and small traders in the province. Since this government came into power, they are multiplying the miseries of the people due to the anti-people economic policies. The government has badly failed to deliver. The electricity tariff has been substantially increased while the government has failed to overcome loadshedding, Mustafa Khan, a resident of Multan Road said. The unannounced loadshedding has become the order of the day. It often results in water shortage as Wasa cannot run its tubewells during the outages, Irfan Ali, a resident of Iqbal Town said. He was of the view that they were suffering a three-hour power shutdown after every hour during midnight. According to official sources, Kasur, Okara, Sheikhuputra and the congested localities of Lahore like Islampura, Sanda, Samanabad, Iqbal Town, Sabzazar, Johar Town, Wahdat Colony, Kot Lakhpat, Shalimar and Baghbanpura areas are the most affected vicinities, where Lesco resorted to eight-hour breakdown. But the posh localities like Model Town, Township, Garden Town, Muslim Town, Gulberg and Defence have also fell victim to the most unwanted routine. Meanwhile, Pakistan Electric Power Company said they were trying to manage the most critical electricity situation through a pragmatic approach for reducing the duration of load management. Pepco was managing an electricity deficit from 1200-MW to 2500-MW because of abrupt increase in load due to less water releases and fuel constraints. A sudden deficit arose, when some 500-kv, 220-kv and 132-kv grid stations developed technical faults due to severe fog on January 2, and 3. The untiring efforts of the Pepco staff brought the crises situation under control and it will be further eased up, as the weather gets better, they said. Pepco authorities further said they were quite aware of the inconvenience caused to general public due to electricity outages and were giving utmost priority to the business community to provide electricity for the industry and other commercial activities. They also claimed the situation further deteriorated due to the hostile protests and destructive processions by the public in various parts of the country, causing damage to public and private property and setting ablaze the vehicles, equipment and offices of distribution companies of Pepco. On many places there have been regretful instances of beating the officials and staff of the distribution companies. Pepco also appealed to the general public to cooperate with the management of the company to tackle this critical situation. It is already concentrating all possible resources and efforts for controlling electricity disruptions through maximizing power generation and system amelioration. Damage to the public and private property or to the employees of the DISCOs, who are already working day and night for maintaining the electricity infrastructure should be avoided.