No let-up in outages


Furious traders from Anarkali and Neelagumband hold a protest against unscheduled outages as eight to 12 hours of load-shedding continued in the city making life a living hell for people on Wednesday.
Though the shortfall in power production decreased on Wednesday, there was no let-up in outages. The traders threatened to defy the government’s order of closing shops at 8pm. Members of the Anjuman Tajran Anarkali staged a protest at Neelagumbad. They claimed unscheduled outages have has ruined their businesses. The traders blocked the road, burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the government.
Ashraf Bhatti of Anjuman Tajran said that on one hand the government has failed to provide relief to the traders, and on the other hand, it was asking them to close shops at 8pm. He warned of more protests if outages continued. Qaumi Tajar Itthad Traders Association President Babar Ali Khan said the traders are asked to close their shops at 8pm, which is not possible. “There is no electricity during day time, which means there is no business all day and closing shops at 8pm will destroy our businesses completely,” he said.
Meanwhile, load shedding continued in the city despite a decrease in shortfall. The power shortfall on Tuesday was 4,879MW, as production remained at 11,315MW while demand touched 16,194MW. Power production from hydroelectric sources improved and it remained 3,834MW; thermal power stood at 1,568MW and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) gave 5,851 megawatts of electricity. Citizens criticised the PEPCO for its failure to address the problem. They said there is no issue with power plants and PEPCO has blown the issue out of proportion.
According to official statistics, hydroelectric power plants have a generation capacity of 6,000MW; thermal power plants of 6,500MW and IPPs of 6,500MW but due to negligence on the part of PEPCO, hydroelectric and thermal power plants are functioning at less than 55 percent of their capacity.