- Power shortfall shoots up to 6000 MW
- Unannounced outages for as long as 18 hours paralyse city dwellers
What has brought together the 1.2 million PML-N voters and 0.7 million PTI voters and millions more in the metropolitan who did not even bother to vote is the demand to come out of the dark and hollow electricity-less black hole the city has become as a result of unannounced long hours of power outages.
It is certainly not the number of votes you get; it is the number of electricity-filled hours one is supplied with that matters. With up to 18 hours of load shedding in various parts of the city with hours-long stretches without light in the scorching May’s heat has become a double trouble for the citizens.
The inconvenience multiplies as the WASA turbines also work with electricity and hence power outages also translate into unavailability of water in various parts of the city.
“It has become routine now, initially during the construction of the Metro Bus and now because of outages, the WASA turbines don’t work and we are mostly without water. The drinking water is available in the market but what about regular household chores? We should actually shift back to hand pumps,” Shahid Zaman, a resident of Gulshan-e-Ravi said.
The outages have hit all strata of society equally and all sectors including businessmen, students, poor and rich alike.
What has become shocking is that commercial markets also suffer even more than the domestic centres.
Azam market, Shah Alam Market, and other commercial hubs in the city have been hit by 10 hours of unannounced load shedding.
There is a saying becoming popular among Shah Alam market traders which goes: “Gahak te batti da koi time nai [there is no fixed time for a customer and electricity]”.
Sheikh Akhlas, a trader in Shah Alam market said even UPS runs out of battery and now most people have got hand fans and emergency lights which also run out at times. “The situation is so worse and is badly affecting our business; the streets are mostly dark, it is such scorching heat that the customers don’t come at all and no one in the authorities seem to be taking any action,” he said.
People are also expressing their rage on the Facebook with one of the users asking the PML-N chief to come to power soon enough so that they know who to actually curse for the long outages.
The overall routine activity has been jeopardized by the load shedding.
Rehma Sajjad, a banker said, “Life has been crippled because of the outages. It has become so tough for the office-going people because there is no time for load shedding and no one knows when to wake up or make a timetable because the LESCO outruns all plans one makes; it is just the terrible feeling one gets every morning when there is no light.”
With the long, unannounced outages the conspiracy theories are also making rounds in the metropolitan especially on the social media.
People are spreading out the word that the long outages are a means to divert the “public attention” from the issue of rigging in the elections. Another one making rounds on the social media is that it is being deliberately done until the PML-N chief takes oath, makes his trip to Saudi Arabia and upon his return the situation will be improved to appease the masses.
The power shortfall has increased up to 6000 MW and the situation is even worse in the industrial hubs such as Kasur, Faisalabad and Gujranwala. “Initially there was a 6-hour schedule announced for the load shedding but for the past few days it has reached up to 18 hours and even more in the rural areas. We voted for Nawaz Sharif because he is also a businessman and understands our problem, we hope the situation is improved once he takes oath,” Sheikh Ali, a businessman told the scribe.
The outages have also put the tall claims of the caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi in question. He had promised more electricity for the city dwellers in May, which, interestingly, has become the worse hit since the start of the month.
While the hopes of the city dwellers continue to melt in the scorching summer heat, LESCO PRO was not available for comments.
So sad 🙁
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