Outages belie Pepco’s no-shortfall claim


Nauman Tasleem August 05, 2010

LAHORE: The city suffered four to six hours of power outage on Thursday despite Pakistan Electric Power Company’s (Pepco) claim that there was no power shortfall in the country.

The city had barely experienced any power outages over the last two weeks. The domestic users were entirely spared while commercial feeders were closed for one to two hours a day. However, on Wednesday night the city witnessed outages and for two to four hours, there was no electricity. The outages continued on Thursday and in several areas, the duration of the power outages reached six hours.

The consumers reacted with surprise to the power closures, since the Pepco Managing Director had said on Wednesday that the demand and supply gap had been bridged and there was no longer any power shortfall in the country. Lesco consumers however were unanimous that outages seemed to have doubled.

“We used to have no electricity from 8 to 9pm but on Wednesday night there was no power from 8 to 10pm,” said Rashid Alam, a resident of Township. On Thursday he added that the power was closed turned off for six hours. “The power was suspended from 9 to 10am, 2 to 4pm and then from 8 to 10pm,” he said. Jameel Qureshi, another consumer from the same sub-division, said that previously, there had been only one to two hours of power closure routinely but suddenly it seemed to have increased to nearly five hours a day. In some areas, the power outage came to six hours on Thursday. “The demand has declined due to the monsoon rains but even so, the Pepco is unable to provide uninterrupted power to the consumers,” Qureshi said.

Shafqat Jalil, Pepco’s director general of public relations, while talking to The Express Tribune said that all power plants including the Kot Adu power plant were safe and producing power.

Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) officials said that earlier, the power supply that the company was receiving was 2,400MW while the demand was 2,550MW and they had to plan a 1 to 2 hour power outage to take care of the 150MW shortage. The shortfall increased to 300MW on Wednesday night due to a drop in supply, thus the duration of outages doubled, a Lesco official said. Javed Ahmed Khan, Lesco’s additional director of Public Relations, said that power outages were normal and there has been no increase recently.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2010.

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