Unabated power outages cripple city life

Published: September 2, 2018


LAHORE: Citizens continue to suffer after Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) resorted to unscheduled and prolonged load-shedding in the hot and humid weather.

Many areas of Lahore are witnessing more than eight hours of load-shedding and this does not include prolonged power breakdowns which happen due to overloading of transmission wires and different grid stations.

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As per LESCO officials, the company was getting a quota of around 3,700MW of electricity, but many said the actual demand of LESCO has reached 4500MW. An official of LESCO said this was not the case with the power company alone.

Even all the DISCOS (distribution companies) were suffering a shortfall due to the overall increase in the demand for electricity. The major load factor was the induction of air conditioners which was expected to reverse by September 20, he claimed.

Previously LESCO was not conducting any load-shedding in category A and B ie areas with less than 10% losses.

However, with the surge in demand for electricity, these categories are also witnessing load-shedding.

“This is the toughest time for Lahorites. We are facing increased load-shedding coupled with voltage tripping,” said Mian Usman Ahmad, a resident of a highly populated area. “One can bear the scheduled load-shedding but what about prolonged hours which should be better called as power breakdowns, leaving us without electricity for the entire night,” he asked.

Power experts said the actual nationwide demand has surpassed 24,000MW but Pakistan was producing around 17,000 to 18,000MW. Another LESCO official disclosed that the increasing demand-supply gap was due to mounting circular debt, as a result, many power plants were either shut down or were operating at low capacity.

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Coupled with extremely hot and humid weather, electricity load-shedding has badly affected citizens from all walks of life.

NTDC and LESCO authorities claim that the electricity provision system was working accurately, however, not a single locality in the city was exempted from load-shedding. Contrary to LESCO’s CEO claims, many areas were still witnessing low voltage to the extent that not even a fan could function properly.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2018.

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