PEOPLE should brace up for prolonged power outages in the long hot summers that have almost set in, warn energy experts of the Engineers Study Forum. According to the forum, KESC and PEPCO might soon resort to loadshedding of up to 10 to 12 hours a day. Its suggestions, like reducing technical line losses, instituting a mechanized checking system of power theft, and so n, would no doubt help, but would not do much to fully overcome the energy crisis. The country at present faces a shortfall of 4000 MW. In the summer season, air conditioners and fans increase the load, and thus would make things worse. The past several years witnessed a soaring increase in the use of these gadgets. The present poor economic picture is likely to slow down the trend, but nevertheless the consumption of power will increase. Like the Musharraf government, the PPP-led government has not done much to add to the power generation capacity. Last year, the whole country remained in the grip of riots on account of loadshedding and the 70 percent increase in power tariffs. The economy received a big blow when electricity supply to thousands of factories and mills remained cut-off for long hours, measures like switching to daylight saving time, and asking traders to close markets by nightfall, turned out to be cosmetic. It quite strange that Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, who should be worrying most about the energy crisis, is busy in political manoeuvring in the context of the PPP-PML-N confrontation. The ruling leadership appears to be more concerned about keeping itself in power than paying attention to the suffering of the people and the worsening economy. There is urgent need to remove the roadblocks to implementing major electricity projects such as the Thar Coal Project and the Bhasha Dam and immediately to arrive at a consensus on the Kalabagh Dam. For the present requirement, projects that can be executed in a relatively short time should be taken up.