ISLAMABAD  - People continue to suffer due to prolonged and unscheduled loadshedding of electricity as shortfall rises above 5,500 on Monday.

It should be mentioned that consumers in different areas of the four provinces had to suffer 8 to 12 hours electricity loadshedding daily. Power supply situation in rural areas is worst where people have to witness 14 to 18 hours loadshedding in intense cold weather.

The electricity load-shedding has intensified across Pakistan especially in Punjab as shortfall has reached its highest peak of 5,500 megawatt. Authorities say that the increased loadshedding was due to closure of canals and reduction in the release of water from Tarbela and Mangla dams.

The shortfall has created a disastrous situation in the country. Besides affecting domestic consumers, power loadshedding has also halted commercial activities depriving the citizens of livelihood.

There is also acute shortage of gas and loud thinking among the masses is that it has been diverted to power houses to reduce the hours of load shedding. While the CNG stations are closed and gas is not being supplied to industries, the pressure for the domestic consumers is also minimum. People are wondering as to where the much trumpeted gas reserves have gone. They blame that the commodity was in short supply because it has been diverted to certain industries.

People hailing from different cities asked the federal minister for water and power to step down from his position admitting his failure to overcome the crisis. They also warned to take out country wide protest demonstrations if the situation was not mended.