As Pakistan’s electricity crisis worsens, it is time we stop burning tyres on the street to protest our rising body temperatures and confront the question: why don’t we have electricity? We all know the gap between electricity generation and its consumption increases every day. But who can really decipher the meaning behind this megawatt-loaded language?
As for me, I get crushed beneath an avalanche of acronyms whenever I read a power-related story. And after wading through a sea of IPPs, RPPs, PEPCOs, KESCs and the like, I’ve finally clued into why the power crisis isn’t being resolved – nobody gets it.
Despite Mr Raja’s kind efforts to promise us that, let’s say, 150 megawatts (MW) will be added to the supply by June, we can’t relate this information to our lives. I don’t care whether he gets 150 MWs onto the grid. I just want my AC to run uninterrupted.
In an attempt to make sense of the lingo, I did some research which led me to believe that 1 MW of power provides electricity to anywhere between 500-1000 homes every year. Given that our shortfall generally fluctuates between 3,500 MW to 4,000 MW, it’s easy to see how millions of homes are ‘powerless’.
Ultimately, it seems to me the government doesn’t want the public to ‘get’ the specifics of the electricity crisis. That’s why we’ve been bumbling and blustering, asking for ‘civil-nuclear energy deals’ that will put us on par with India, when really we can’t manage to maximise output from a simple thermal power plant. When confronted with a power-problem, we like to beg, borrow, or rent our way out of the darkness – and it’s obvious these solutions aren’t sustainable.
I think the current crisis will be good for Pakistan. Electricity outages could be the new great leveler of man. Once we’re all out on our balconies, wiping sweat from our eyes, we might get hot and bothered enough to make a change ourselves. Punkha, anyone?