LAHORE- Up to 18-hour unannounced loadshedding has been hitting hard the residents.

The national grid station has fallen short of more than 5500MW.

The energy basket in facing 50 to 60 per cent shortfall, the demand is standing at 16,000MW against the overall generation of mere 10,000MW from IPPs, Gencos and hydel sources. Again the main reason of the load shedding is shortage of fuel, said an official of the power sector, adding the government released some Rs6 billions and hopefully fuel reached at power plants till tonight.

The power distribution companies in KPK, Quetta and Sind are conducting 16 to 18 hours load shedding.

The Lesco city feeders in most areas conduct consecutive power cuts of two to three hours which also created severe water shortage in areas. The rural areas in the Lesco limits were under the grip of 16 hours load shedding.

The prolonged outages have been outpouring water woes. People are seen standing in long queues around hydrants amid scorching heat.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has also been shrugging off its responsibilities, saying that they don’t have funds to run tubewells on generators.

At a briefing to a Senate standing committee, Water and Power Secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan blamed the chaos on the finance ministry, saying: “(It) released only Rs5 billion for power generation against the prime minister's directives of Rs22.5 billion.” Had they provided sufficient funds, the loadshedding would have been cut to 7 hours a day, he asserted.

According to him, the power shortfall stands 5,282MW as against the demand of 15,000MW, drawing Committee Chairman Zahid Khan ire over presenting wrong figures on loadshedding span.

The chairman observed the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) is conducting up to 18-hour loadshedding in Rawalpindi city but the company report puts it on 10-hour cut. The chairman demanded government take action against the ministry officials for lying to the committee.

The problem is not restricted to the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. For example, residents ENJOY four-hour power supply to Shahdara in Lahore and Karachi people too curse KESC over poor handling.