LAHORE/ISLAMABAD The continuous electricity and gas loadshedding is annoying the business and manufacturer class with the small and medium manufacturers as the worst-affected. It has resulted in the closer of hundred of industrial units, which has left thousands of workers as jobless, multiplying the sufferings of their families who are already facing the consequences of non-stop rise in inflation. But the long list of depressed people also includes domestic consumers, as there is no gas for cooking and women are forced to use coal and wood. It resulted in widespread protests across Punjab Monday, as people came out on the streets to express their anger. Protesters in Faisalabad, Jhelum, Pasroor, Pindi Bhattian Chenab Nagar, Jhang, Harappa, Gojra, Narang Mandi, Sambrial, Pir Mahal, Chakwal and many other towns held protests during which they blocked roads and chanted slogans against the govt for its failure to provide the basic necessities to the masses. Meanwhile, SNGPL suspended the gas supply to the industries in Punjab two days before the announced schedule despite the fact that the federal cabinet on the request of All Pakistan Textile Manufacturers Association (Aptma) had decided to suspend the supply to the fertiliser sector only. According to Aptma Chairman Gohar Ejaz, the SNGPL policy will make it impossible to achieve the export target. On the other hand, SNGPL General Manager Rehan Nawaz says severe cold wave has increased the gas demand for domestic usage to 925MCF. In Lahore, contrary to the Pepcos claims, people were badly hit by power outages, the duration of which touched about 10 to 12 hours. The Pepco had announced three days ago that loadshedding would not increase beyond three to four hours in cities during the period of canal closure (December 26-January 31). However, the situation was totally different in the limits of the LESCO since the announcement has been made. It was learnt that the national grid was facing about 4,000 MW shortfall due to low thermal and hydel production resulting in an average of10 to 12-hour daily unscheduled loadshedding. The people who were already facing gas shortages blamed the mismanagement of the government in every sector which was adding to their problems. They said despite enjoying three-year rule, the government had failed to bring improvement in energy sector. Decrease in discharge of water from Mangla and Tarbela reservoirs squeezed the hydel power generation by 2,557 MW as it triggered power shortage across the country especially in rural areas. In Lahore, the electricity usually disappeared during 5am to 9am, 1 am to 3am and 7pm to 10pm in areas of Iqbal Town, Green Town, Township, Canal View and Walled City. While other areas including Shahdhra, Model Town, Johar Town, Mughalpura, Bhagwanpura remained under half-day loadshedding, the sources in the Lesco said. The Pepco says the electricity shortfall stands at 2,995MW against the total demand of 12,735MW. It stated the power generation during the last 24 hours remained 9,740MW. The KESC was given 690MW to meet the requirement of more than 10 million people. The thermal, IPPs and RPPs share in national grid remained 1550MW, 5571MW and 62MW respectively. On the other hand, in many areas of the country in winter the gas supply is not sufficient that is badly affecting manufacturing activities of those industries that are dependent on gas for their complete or partial production process. It is also pertinent to mention that the government has ordered two days gas load shedding for CNG that has also caused problems for business community as most of the transport is now converted on gas and even the small loader vehicles are now on petrol engines and CNG based. The non-availability of gas is indirectly increasing the cost of production of the manufacturers. A factory owner while talking to TheNation said that they were facing many problems and especially they were unable to complete production as per their dead lines due to gas non availability. The textile industry, packages industry and some other are very much dependent on gas so their production work is badly affected with the start of winter season. A packages factory owner said they were behind the schedule in meeting their orders those were supposed to be manufactured and delivered just due to non-availability of sufficient gas supply. He said the business was suffering so were the employees as they were going to face loss if the situation persists. There is also fear that they would have to down size their human resource in the given scenario. It is worth mentioning that in previous two and half years many people have lost their jobs due to energy crisis in the country that hit the commercial activities badly and the situation is still worsening day by day.