Gas and electricity loadshedding of up to 15 hours in Lahore, Multan and various other parts of the province provoked the people into coming out on the streets on Sunday, giving vent to their fury at the governments cold-blooded indifference to their plight. Those entrusted with the responsibility of running the country should feel worried about these demonstrations swelling in size and causing a countrywide commotion to bring down the ruling set-up. Surprisingly, President Zardari has taken so long to notice the situation and has directed that power companies be provided with furnace oil to produce the required electricity. The only thing that the consumers have seen is a regular tariff increase on the behest of IMF. It is highly unfair that NEPRA has for the umpteenth time approved new rates for electricity that would be implemented in the days to come. The gas shortfall stands at 450 million cubic feet, while that of electricity has reached 3000 MW. The authorities have mentioned the shortage of water in Tarbela and Mangla Dams as the cause for electricity shortage. It leaves no doubt that we need more dams to produce energy. The question must be put to the PPP-led dispensation why it did not build the Kalabagh Dam even though the disastrous floods provided it with a valid ground to do so. The consequences of not building this national asset have gravitated towards a scenario where outages of 20 hours are commonplace in rural areas at least, and in turn virtually every sphere of life stands paralysed. More or less same is the situation with the gas sector in which new reserves discovered in the country are lying untapped merely owing to official lethargy. There could be nothing worse than the failure to provide people with bare minimum of gas to cook their meals. Does all this not justify the criticism of the PPP leaders for living off the fat of the land while callously leaving the people to fend for themselves, whether in suffocating heat or freezing cold?