PROLONGED power outages continue upsetting the routine life of Lahorites despite the assurance by the authorities concerned that supply of electricity will be better this year around. Low pressure of gas also continues haunting the citizens amid cold weather.

Even posh areas of the City have no immunity from unplanned power and gas outages that spanned about 8-10 hours in a day and they also result in suspension in water supply. People, residing in DHA phase-VI, complained that they were witnessing one of the worst electricity loadsheddings during last three days. Unannounced and prolonged electricity failures have resulted in disruption of water supply also, making the life of people even more miserable. Almost same is the situation of gas supplies.

In the absence of basic amenities, said Mudassar, who works in the area, we are virtually living in the Stone Age. He lamented that the people in the area were helplessly living at the mercy of harsh weather with no power, gas and water supplies, thanks to the apathy of the authorities concerned.

The PEPCO officials have announced a few days back that there will be relatively better electricity supplies during the annual canal closure but to no avail. Unplanned outages are being done unabatedly, people alleged. The Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) has not been able to prepare load management plan yet. The People maintained that despite assurances of the policymakers, there was no respite in energy crisis. Nevertheless, the PEPCO officials claimed that power supply improved a bit if compared to the level of December 26 when countrywide annual canal desilting campaign was launched, reducing hydel output substantially as a result of limited outflow from dams. Overall power generation on Sunday was 9721 MW if compared to the demand of 12,216 MW, showing massive shortfall of 2495 MW. However, shortfall in demand and supply is now relatively lower if compared to the situation of a week earlier, said an official. He recalled that on December 26, shortfall of electricity was hovering around 3000 MW. On the other hand, low pressure of gas has upset the life in the provincial metropolis, forcing the people to buy food from markets. “My whole monthly budget has been affected, as I have to buy food from nearby hotel because gas supplies were no more reliable, said Raza Ali, a resident of Township. He added that some people in the vicinity tended to buy LPG cylinders but this solution was also too costly. He continued saying that Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) had badly failed to provide smooth gas to domestic consumers.

Meanwhile, weekly two-day shutdown of the CNG filling stations will also start from today (Monday), further annoying motorists amid skyrocketing rates of petroleum products.

As far as industrial sector is concerned, gas supply of general industry located in Lahore, Sheikhupura and Sahiwal will also be cut from January 03, 2011 till January 07, 2011.

Source: The News