KARACHI - The hours-long unscheduled load-shedding continued on Tuesday as the shortfall in power supply increased between 500 MW to 600 MWs because of frequent tripping of Bin Qasim power plants and reduced supply of gas. Several areas in this mega city of Pakistan faced 6 to 8 hours long loadshedding in three to four phases during day hours, KESC sources and consumers told The Nation. The consumers and business community representatives told The Nation that the federal and the provincial governments were showing least interest in relieving the Karachi'ites from the agonizing hours-long load-shedding that forces the people to spend sleepless nights. This is to be noted that this on going crisis is getting worse day by day. The mounting situation of load-shedding has raised questions on the progress of this PPP government and its policies to control load-shedding in this largest city of the country. Why the federal and provincial govts are not ensuring the supply of required quantity of 200 MMCF gas to KESC to overcome load-shedding, said the consumers and businessmen. At present the KESC is getting 160 MMCF gas against the requirement of 200 MMCF gas. "We have given votes to MNAs and MPAs in the government and they should also come to our rescue", said a load-shedding victim. "Why the government is silent on this burning issue?" asked another resident. It is high time now to take action against this energy crisis. "If our government is serious in resolving this issue, it should take some bold steps in the power production sector", said an engineer. "We have so much potential here in our country in this sector but government back up is not available to explore it" he added. Siddiq Memon President of Karachi Tajir Ittehad (Traders Alliance) while talking to The Nation claimed that 70 percent business has decreased in city due to the load-shedding. The markets are getting electricity for two hours only against 10 working hours daily, he lamented. Against the actual demand of power supply for 260 hours in a month, the KESC provides electricity for 48 hours to commercial areas of city in a month, the Traders' leader said, lamenting that despite long hours load shedding in commercial centers, the KESC collects hefty monthly bills from the traders that also exploitation of businessmen and the consumers. He pointed out that customers are thronging markets for shopping ahead of Eid, but they do not bear the heat and darkness during load-shedding and return back without doing complete shopping. He further said the majority of the customers were women and children who do not prefer to buy items in darkness, sultry weather and smell of petrol/gas created by the generators. President of Karachi Traders Alliance claimed that around 0.6 million shops are situated in 550 markets and shopping centres of city, and out of them, only 30 percent shops have facility of generators while 70 percent shopkeepers do not have financial capacity to install the generators. The traders' leader claims that traders spend additional amount of Rs350 million in term of additional utilization of patrol and fuel in generators in a month because fuel/patrol charges are much higher than the tariff of KESC. He estimated that electricity from using generator was much more expensive, Rs22 per unit which was double than the commercial tariff of Rs10.60 per unit of KESC. Meanwhile, Babar Ali President of Karimabad Market Association said the unannounced loadshedding in commercial areas has derailed business activities. Traders and shopkeepers have been forced to fire 50 per cent of their workers and daily wagers, because they cannot pay wages to these workers due to the increase in expenses after the heavy decline in business, he said, suggesting the government should take prompt measures to provide uninterrupted power supply otherwise the traders will take to the streets for an indefinite period.