LAHORE -

Up to 16 hours of power cuts have brought life to a halt. Urban areas of the provincial capital have been facing 14-hour loadshedding while the urban areas spend six hours of power.

According to officials, shortfall hit 60,00MW and the he national grid is facing around 60 per cent of power shortage. The countrywide demand is crossing 17,000MW against the depleting generation of 11,000MW from hydel power plants – IPPs and Gencos.

“The electricity demand is standing 17,000MW against the overall generation of 11,000MW,” said an official, adding around 2000MW from the available generation goes to VVIPs feeders and KESC and the remaining 9,000MW are being divided all over the country.

The main reason for the loadshedding is shortage of fuel supply and the least outflow of water from the major dams. The official said the situation would be better in the next week.

Demonstrating ‘civic maturity’ and patience of spending sleepless nights and waterless days in the summer with utmost patience, the world’s fifth largest nation falsified the concept that energy is a basic requisite for the existence in this post-industrial modern era.

And as usual, the authorities have been using mischievous tricks. 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.

workshop

A four-day training workshop on soil and water management techniques for semi-arid regions commenced at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi here on Monday. The workshop was organised for capacity building of local farmers in terms of soil and water management and to introduce them with new water harvesting techniques to effectively save the surplus water and later use it for agriculture/productive purpose.