LAHORE - PPP’s central Punjab President, Manzoor Wattoo, has invited Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to jointly set up a camp office at Minar-i- Pakistan, Lahore, to protest the longer and agonizing 12 to 18 hours of loadshedding people are bracing at the moment.

The PPP leader reminded the CM that he had declared before May, 2013 elections that he would get the people out of the loadshedding torture within three months of coming into power. And if he could not, he would change his name, Wattoo said.

“He should now confess his failure and honour his announcement because loadshedding situation has worsened not to speak of getting rid of it”, Wattoo remarked in a statement.  He said the reduction in the loadshedding seemed a far-fetched cry as the situation in this regard had gone from bad to worse.

Manzoor Wattoo referred to the media reports suggesting that the loadshedding during this summer season would make the people  suffer because the distribution companies had not purchased the required number of transformers to meet emergency in view of the likely privatisation.

He said that it was a practice that the distributions companies would purchase transformers in thousands to meet the substantial increase in demand during the summer season as a large number of transfers get damaged due to the heavy load.

“The non-availability of transformers will add to the woes of the people which they would not be able to withstand”, he cautioned. Manzoor lamented that electricity theft statements by Minister of State for Water and Power, which indeed was the manifestation of the failure of the his Ministry to manage the situation, had reached to a crisis proportion. “It is being used as a cover up”, he viewed.

He pointed out that the govt had resorted to over-billing to the consumers in order to show that the recovery was going at the satisfactory pace. These temporary measures, he said, would not yield the positive results because the crisis situation is bound to surface sooner than later. Referring to what he called the mountain of circular debt, he said it was going up with every passing day because about one billion rupees loss per day would trigger the crisis to a horrendous proportion.

Manzoor Wattoo said that the PPP was opposed to the privatisation of power companies and the experience of Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Karachi power companies was enough to vindicate the stance of the party.