KARACHI: There has been no sizeable reduction in the amount of electricity used over the first weekend the government switched to a five-day week.
The Planning Commission of Pakistan told the Sindh government to implement proposals made at a recent National Energy Conference in order to save power.
Karachi Electric Supply Company’s spokesman Aminur Rahman said that it could be possible the rising temperatures increased consumption, making it difficult to measure the change they were looking for. He did add, however, that this was only the first attempt.
Many of the government proposals have been rejected by KESC because it argues that it won’t make any tangible difference and are a band-aid solution that ignore the core of Karachi’s energy crisis.
These proposals include shutting commercial establishments by 8 pm, except on weekends, using alternate street lighting and more efficient street lights, a five-day week for all government offices, the installations of solar geysers in government housing, a subsidy for solar agri tubewells, cutting off the supply to billboards and neon signs and a gradual reduction in the use of incandescent bulbs.
Small traders have rejected the government proposal to shut at 8pm but the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry members have said that they will try and get traders to cooperate.
“In this heat and because of load shedding in the day we make losses keeping shops open during the day and customers usually come to shop at night,” explained Atiq Mir of the All Karachi Traders Association. “The culture of Saddar, Tariq Road, Zamzama and other markets is that they stay open until about 11pm.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.