Of sweltering darkness and never quenching thirst…


Bathing in the Canal, sleeping on the rooftops, studying at restaurants, queuing up at the nearest possible operational tap, returning from a humid office only to find sweaty kids crying in the dark and staying up all night in an air-conditioned car are only a few ways the citizens of the metropolis have found to keep themselves running during the sweltering power-less, water-less and business-less summers in the city of the gardens.
As the Lahoris helplessly suffer day-long outages one may wonder if the high-ups at the Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) are feeling the heat or not.
While the power shortfall has exceeded 7,500 megawatts (MW) and the duration of load shedding in the city has risen to 20 hours a day in most areas, the LESCO chief executive has said that they are working to curtail the electricity outages to 12 hours a day; a one-hour outage after an hour.
Continuous power outage has affected domestic life to a great extent and has caused water shortage in many areas. At present, the power supply across the country is 9,000MW with demand around 6,500MW.
The prime minister’s orders regarding the issuing of meager funds to curtail the outages have raised a primary question, “Will it suffice?”
While the prime minister has issued directives for the release of Rs 5billion to curb the electricity outages, the Water and Power Ministry secretary has said that approximately Rs 3.27 billion were required on a daily basis to deal with the electricity deficit. “Will the meager amount be able to curtail the never ending debt?” is a question that still needs answering.
Least concerned about the strategy the government adopts to curtail the outages and most concerned on the outcome it may yield, the citizens of the provincial capital continue to yell out loud against the power and water crises that have hit the city hard.
Shahzaman, a resident of Mughalpura, while bathing on the Canal cursed the ‘hukmaraan’ (rulers) for the prolonged outages he had to face every day. He said he did not know who to blame: the government, LESCO, WAPDA, PML-N, PTI or the PPP’s five year government. He said, “I don’t care who is responsible for this but I am sure I have done nothing to deserve this. I find it ridiculous to bathe on the Canal like this. This is absurd and this should end.”
Farrukh, a businessman dozing off with a hand fan in his hand at his shop in Anarkali, said, “There are no customers these days. Coming to work is just a formality these days. There is no light at home as well. We may as well try passing the time here with a few mates. I have even stopped worrying about it all. I don’t care what happens. The government can bulldoze us for all I care.”


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