As the hottest months of the year approach, no load-shedding schedule has been provided by the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco).
Presently, power outages lasting 16-18 hours a day are disrupting life in parts of the province.
The newly-appointed caretaker government will now have to confront the power crisis and resulting outrage of the people in the days to come. If the prolonged outages continue without any fixed schedule, the caretaker government is likely to face the wrath of the people.
“The concerned authorities do not even inform people what the reason behind the almost complete absence of electricity in Swat is,” said Hazrat Ali, a resident of Swat.
Pesco, on the other hand, never fails to claim power outages in the province are based on a schedule that seems to be unknown by a majority of the population. Additionally, the company also claims some power cuts are carried out by the national gird station and have nothing to do with Pesco’s own schedule.
Despite several attempts, the Pesco spokesperson could not be contacted to comment on the unscheduled load-shedding.
“The judiciary is known for its active role in addressing major issues so it should help solve the power problem,” said Zeeshan Khan, a resident of Saddar. “Last night I could not sleep as there was electricity for only 90 minutes throughout the night.”
“Not everyone can afford to use generators for prolonged periods of time because fuel is very expensive,” said Lal Sadiq from Karak.
Last year, people came out on the roads and threatened to attack grid stations to vent their anger. During that time, the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) was forced to convene an all- parties conference (APC) on the energy crisis to save face and pacify the people by showing them they were serious about addressing the situation.
The ANP-led government in K-P ended its tenure with total dissatisfaction from the people on the issue of power outages, leading people to call the ANP’s tenure the ‘lantern era’ in reference to the party’s election symbol.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2013.