No Load Shedding For Pakistan

Federal Minister for Power, Awais Leghari, announced on Sunday that by Monday midnight the country will be free of load shedding. This will happen due to the addition of 8694 MW of energy to the national grid. Previously it was revealed that the sixty percent of the consumers in the country are not facing any load shedding and the grid now has surplus energy. The system had 2,700MW surplus electricity but it was not being used only to minimise losses as around 40 percent feeders were less efficient, causing more loss of energy than 10 percent.

This is a news which should be welcomed because Pakistan’s energy crisis seemed like a never ending problem. However, there are certain facts which one must consider while appreciating the efforts of the government.

During the last four years, the power shortage in the grid was announced as 5400 MW when the actual figure was somewhere around 7200 MW. In April alone this year the weather authorities had predicted the heat spell, due to climate change, way before hand. However, the relevant authorities did not take any action in this regard and the populace had to face fourteen to sixteen hours of load shedding. The Minister for Water and Power, Khawaja Asif, at the time accepted the inaction in this regard. It was then promised to immediately add 6400 MW to the grid, which raised suspicions that if the government was able to take such an action, it should have been done previously and with effective planning.

At the same time, there is outrage on social media that the consumption in winter is different from the consumption in the summers, which is why the populace is reluctant to accept the news of eradication of the problem. Many also believe, as previously suggested, that the move is also seen as an attempt to appease the voters. The new election season is just around the corner. Many analysts were speculating PML-N to use this time to resolve the energy crisis. With such harsh criticism being thrown at PML-N’s way, it will be a great test for the party to turn these voices in their favour and use this development as a means to get a larger vote bank.

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