This is with reference to the upsetting news that PEPCO has begun 8 to 10 hours load shedding across the country as hydropower generation has decreased dramatically. It has been learnt that Indus River System Authority in consultation with the provinces has decided to drastically reduce water releases from Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs. According to PEPCO officials, the total generation is 10000MW at present while the demand is about 12500MW approximately. Thus the maximum deficit is 2500MW. This deficit varies from 1500MW (during daytime) to 2500MW (during evening peaks). PEPCO officials have further instructed all Distribution Companies to consult the industry to fix their loadshedding hours/timings. It is suggested that IRSA be made to explain the reasons for drastic reduction in water releases from Tarbela and Mangla. PEPCO should enhance thermal generation from its own power plants and ask the IPPs to make up the deficit. PEPCO could also consider switching to rental power. -ENGR MUNAWAR HUSSAIN, via e-mail, March 20.