THE government's strategy to fight load shedding seems to have veered off track, as a strange idea has been floated in an attempt to tackle the problem, though action against officials seemingly because of unscheduled outages sounds understandable. Under the new tariff, the consumers would be paying 50 percent extra for using electricity after sunset. The authorities are of the view that this measure would considerably bring down the use of electricity at peak hours, but little do they appreciate that it would further aggravate the problem. The hardest hit would be the poor and middle classes who only use electricity after sunset. The student community would have to throw up more money for studying at night, the ideal time for that pursuit. Besides, most academies and some regular educational institutions have teaching course after sunset. The new scheme would turn out to be a punishment for this class and disincentive for education in a country where literacy rate is the lowest in the region. In the meanwhile most parts of the country remain plagued by the menace. Gas shortage has joined hands to upset the whole equation as the industrial units and some power stations running on gas have been closed leading to unemployment. Meanwhile the non-payment of dues to the IPIs by the government and their subsequent move to scale down the output is aggravating the whole situation. While the current shortfall standing at 4000MW is proving hard for the government to fill, the demand and supply situation continues to get out of limits. But the public seem to be losing its patience. Countrywide protests are now being organised with the people blaming the government for charging them high rates while doing nothing to end the persistent outages. Apart from the economic cost, the political cost of the crisis is something the government must never underestimate and must do all it can to provide this vital ingredient of life at reasonable cost.