LAHORE - A 12-hour loadshedding in big cities and 16 to 18 hours in rural areas is making people’s lives miserable across the country.

The power managers say the coming days are tougher as the rising temperature will increase the electricity demand and supply gap. Currently, all power-generating units – hydel, thermal and independent power producers (IPPs) – are adding around 10,700MW to the national grid against the increasing demand of more than 16,000MW. Of the current generation, around 2,000MW goes to VVIPs’ feeders and KESC and around 15 to 20 percent is fixed for line losses. The remaining around 7,500MW is being distributed among the 10 power distribution companies (Discos) of the country against their demand for around three times more than the current generation. The reason behind the shrinking generation is the low outflow of water from major dams due to less demand for irrigation and they are sharing just 4,130MW against their capacity of more than 6,000MW. The thermal power plants are contributing 985MW to the national grid against the capacity of more than 3,000MW while the reason behind 70 percent fall in their generation capacity is the fuel shortage for power plants. The IPPs are sharing 5,585MW against their capacity of around 7,000MW again due to fuel shortage, said an official of the power sector.

The NTDC (National Transmission and Despatch Company), however, said the power generation was 10,700MW against the countrywide demand of 13,000MW and the shortfall was 2,300MW. But the official claim of the National Transmission and Despatch Company is contrary to the current loadshedding hitting the urban and rural limits of the country.

The sources said that 2,300MW shortfall means there should not be more than 8-hour loadshedding, but there are 14-hour outages in the areas of all the Discos on an average.

The sources said Lesco was having a 12-hour loadshedding in Lahore and more than 14-hour outages in its rural limits and other cities. The Iesco, Gepco, Fesco and Mepco are hitting their consumers with more than 14-hour blackouts. The situation in interior Sindh, Balochistan and KP is even worse, where electricity is virtually not available, creating water shortage and other problems for millions of consumers.