As the gas outages continue to disrupt routine activities in the twin cities, the unscheduled power outages have further exacerbated the problem. In most of the areas, power outages are continuing for up to four to six hours.
“At home, you have no gas or electricity and when you step out, there is no CNG,” said Fareeha Javaid , a house wife and resident of Satellite Town Rawalpindi. “Earlier in times of gas shortages, we used electric heaters for cooking and heating purposes. But it seems there are no more alternatives now,” she added.
Malik Tariq, a resident of Saidpur Road said, “Gas outages in winters make sense to some extent. But what about electricity? Already people of this country are faced by skyrocketing inflation and a sense of insecurity, and now this added misery has created havoc in our lives.” He added that some areas in Rawalpindi were also facing water shortage.
Vexed by the “winter of discontent” Fawad Shah, a college student, said, “At this frequency, it has become difficult to charge appliances of everyday use like cell phones and lap tops.” He added that because of this, he was having trouble in finishing his assignments and projects on time.
Zaheer Awan, a banker, had a similar story to share. He said, “Long queues at CNG stations throughout the day and night, people shivering in the cold without proper insulation systems, women making all-out efforts to provide three times meal for their families. All of this reflects rather poorly on the government, who claim to provide us with basic amenities.”
Furthermore, Ashraf Khan, a salesman at a bakery in Satellite Town said, “Due to gas shortage, we are unable to bake on time, especially the items used for breakfast. As a last resort, we are using wood for baking purposes,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2011.