The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Ministry of Water and Power and Lesco not to limit loadshedding to eight hours in the city, and immediately stop illegal supply of power in the provincial capital.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial passed these directives while hearing several applications against unscheduled loadshedding in the city.

Joint Secretary Zargham Shah told the court that Discos was facing shortage of 1200MW electricity due to blasts on gas pipelines and grid stations in Balochistan. The electricity was being provided to these companies as per their supply and demand and due quota, the ministry’s official further informed.

Pepco’s counsel Khawaja Tariq Raheem told the court that besides Fata and Balochistan, there was also no trend of paying the electricity bills in interior Sindh and Punjab due to which no revenue was being collected.

He demanded the court ask Lesco as to why 18- hour loadshedding was being done in Lahore though 18,00MW is being supplying electricity to it against its demand which is 22,00MW.

The chief justice remarked stopping electricity theft was not the responsibility of courts and questioned as to why no action was being taken against Discos if they were misusing their electricity quotas. The court observed that all the departments concerned should take steps to overcome the power crisis. The court ordered that that electricity loadsheding period should not exceed more than eight hours a day. The CJ directed the joint secretary to inform the court about residential areas exempted from load shedding. The matter will be taken up on April 29.