LAHORE/KARACHI - Prolonged and incessant power breakdowns have come back to haunt the people, plunging almost the whole country into darkness. Unannounced loadshedding up to even 21 hours continued to cripple the life of the common man in urban and rural areas of all big and small cities and towns. There were no exceptions as mega cities like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and small towns and villages faced massive loadshedding. In Lahore, duration of power outages were extended to 12 hours, as the power feeders were being shutdown on every alternative hour. Reports from several parts of Punjab revealed that people have been without electricity for 20 to 23 hours. People in some areas lamented that electricity was restored only for 10 to 15 minutes and after that they again had to face loadshedding. They said that their life had become a hell as simple routines like eating, bathing and praying have become much harder. They put the question that in summer, the usage of fans, air-conditioners and air-coolers increase as there was justification of loadshedding in hot weather but why they were being forced to face this menace when the climate has turned normal. They pointed out that top brass was enjoying in air-conditioned rooms and offices and even travel in air-conditioned vehicles but they pay no attention to men,women and children who are suffering in agony. Industrialists and businessmen community said that it was almost impossible for industry to flourish in an environment where 10 to 15 hours power shutdown was being experienced daily. They said that commercial and industrial units needed steady power supply to run their machines and business activities but the current frequent power outages were causing great harm to economic activities in the country. They feared that if this trend continued for the next few months, many industrial units would be left with no other option but to close down their businesses, as they cannot afford to run their businesses in loss. The officials said that power shortfall has increased to 5,000 megawatts and how this scarcity increased to 5,000 megawatt is the question which can only be answered by the PEPCO officials. These officials claimed that electricity demand had climbed to 16,000 megawatt due to change in weather. On the other hand overall power generation had reduced to 10,000 megawatt due to cut in hydel production by IPPs. While, in LESCO region, 380,000 consumers presently using 2200MW of electricity while LESCO was being provided only 1,500 MW, leading to a scarcity of around 1,000 megawatt, they added. Officials claimed that the water spilling from Tarbela Dam had decreased to 75,000 cusecs from 100,000 cusecs leading to power outage intensification. They added that industries were also affected with electric shortage, however, they hoped to provide relief to people soon. People from far-flung areas reported that they continued to suffer power outages as electricity crisis got worse. Meanwhile, 12 to 14 hours power outages was reported almost in all residential and commercial areas in Lahore including Samanabad, Model Town, Garden Town , Multan Road, Shahdra, Mozang, Walled City, Johar Town, Iqbal Town, Chohang, Mughalpura, Ravi Road and Sabzazar. Report from Karachi: The mega metropolis is facing long spans of loadshedding which is upto 6 to 8 hours daily. The hide and seek of electricity starts in the metropolitan as the weather gets hot. The people were given relief from these power outages few weeks back but now they are facing hard times. Loadshedding menace has come back to haunt the people on rotational bases i.e. 2 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the evening and rest of the time is distributed in the late night hours. Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Johar, North Nazimabad, Lyari, Malir, Saddar, PECHS, DHA and other areas are badly affected by these power outages. 'We are facing loadshedding despite govt assurances. The situation seems to get worse. I think that I am paying bill for loadshedding', said a resident from Gulshan-i-Iqbal with great anger. 'Loadshedding has made our life miserable. My children are facing great difficulty in their studies as their grades have declined. This situation is bad for me as my children work hard for their better result', said a concerned mother of three. 'We will stop paying our bills now. If we have to face 8 to 10 hours loadshedding why should we pay for this utility as it's scarcely available to us? I must salute this management and NEPRA for allowing this wrenched company to increase its tariff up to 70 pc . How did they manage to take such a step while making the lives of Karachiites miserable?', asked an angry resident from Gulistan-i-Johar. It is worth mentioning that the new buyers have shown interest for investment in power generation sector. But question remains the same when this will happen on the ground as its all on paper till this point of time. The generation and distribution sector in the utility need real and serious consideration from this new management. On the other hand, the Federal govt wanted to review the decision of privatisation of this utility. The committee has been formed for this purpose of reviewing the act of privatisation. 'The act of allowing the company to increase tariff by NEPRA, is a cruel act in these circumstances. They should rather decrease the tariff rates', said another citizen. It is pertinent to mention here that the general public and the local govt has strongly protested over unfair tariff raise. It is to observe that how long it will take the govt to take notice of these protests.