LAHORE -Extensive loadshedding was witnessed across the City on the eve of Shab-e-Barat on Monday night.

Lesco feeders went through the worst tripping, unscheduled long cuts creating severe problems for devotees. Water shortages shrouded mosques. 

The shortfall on Monday crossed 6000MW, around 60 per cent of the demand. The loadshedding was worsened across the country on Tuesday. Rural areas faced 18 hours while big cities were under the grip of 14 to 16 hours of shutdown. 

Power generation in the country was standing at mere 11,000MW while demand was crossing 17,000MW. The Lesco was receiving only 2000MW from the energy basket against the demand of 4,500 MW. The situation in KPK, Balochistan and Sind is even worst.

We Pakistanis have proved wrong the ages old notion that there is no life without water. The world’s fifth largest nation has also falsified the concept that energy is a basic requisite for the existence in this post-industrial modern era. We have attained such a level of civic maturity that there are no appreciable hue and cry or large-scale public demonstrations by these more than 185 million people, who are spending sleepless nights and waterless days in this sizzling summer with utmost patience.

The nation has been facing hours-long power outages, which have started outpouring water woes.

At a briefing to a Senate standing committee, Water and Power Secretary Anwar Ahmad Khan blamed the chaos on the finance ministry, saying: “(It) released only Rs5 billion for power generation against the prime minister's directives of Rs22.5 billion.” Had they provided sufficient funds, the loadshedding would have been cut to 7 hours a day, he asserted.

According to him, the power shortfall stands 5,282MW as against the demand of 15,000MW, drawing Committee Chairman Zahid Khan ire over presenting wrong figures on loadshedding span.

The chairman observed the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) is conducting up to 18-hour loadshedding in Rawalpindi city but the company report puts it on 10-hour cut. The chairman demanded government take action against the ministry officials for lying to the committee.

The problem is not restricted to the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. For example, residents ENJOY four-hour power supply to Shahdara in Lahore and Karachi people too curse KESC over poor handling.

The generation stood at 8000MW against the demand of 17,000MW, out of which 1,000MW goes to VVIP feeders and 500MW to KESC and the remaining (6500MW) is being divided to 10 power distribution companies.

The power plants which had been closed for a week or so are Hubco, Kapco, Nishat Power, Nishat Chunian, AES Lal Peer, Atlas Power and dozens others due to unavailability of fuel. Both Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Gencos are generating only 20 per cent of their total capacity.

The prolonged outages have been outpouring water woes. People are seen standing in long queues around hydrants amid scorching heat.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has also been shrugging off its responsibilities, saying that they don’t have funds to run tubewells on generators.