LAHORE

With the advent of summer season, the electricity loadshedding has once again kicked up gear, reaching to around 8 to 10 hours in the provincial capital, as total power generation has declined to 11,000MW against a demand of 15,000MW, registering a shortfall of about 4,000MW.

Ministry of Water and Power officials claimed that significant drop in hydel power generation has caused sharp increase in loadshedding, as lack of water discharge from Tarbela and Maangla dams resulted into reduction of hydel generation by almost 1000MW for the last few days, out of the total hydel capacity of 7000 MW. They said that enhanced power outages were because of low release of water from the provinces which did not require much irrigation water after heavy rains during the past few months. Another reason was the failure of Hubco’s 300MWs units, creating a large generation gap.

The industry, which was facing 8-hours loadshedding, is now suffering outages of 10 hours for a couple of days.

According to the ministry, the discharge from Tarbela and Mangla is going to increase during last week of April as per the demand of the provinces and the load management will be back to the planned schedule of six hours in urban and eight hours in rural areas.

All Pakistan Business Forum President Ibrahim Qureshi strongly protested against the return of massive loadshedding, which has crippled business activities, and called upon the government to resolve the matter before the economy is further destroyed.

APBF president said this situation has badly disturbed the daily production targets of almost all local industrial units including marble, steel, pharmaceutical, edible oil, flour, food processing, soap, IT etc. He urged the authorities to reconsider this move and take urgent measure to minimize loadshedding for industry so that local industrialists could be saved from further losses.

He stressed the authorities to keep larger economic interests of the country supreme and take local industry on board to finalise a consensus loadshedding schedule that should ensure minimum losses to industrial activities.

He said that Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif had assured that there would be no more loadshedding in industrial areas.

Ibrahim Qureshi said thousands of workers were employed in the local industry and sudden huge increase in electricity loadshedding has rendered them idle for long hours. He was afraid that if power shutdown issue was not tackled on urgent basis, thousands of works could lose jobs, which will increase unemployment and social instability.