The month of Ramazan has been made harder for the people of Rawalpindi who are facing severe water scarcity and incessant power outages.
Residents of various areas of the garrison city complained that the authorities have no proper electricity supply schedule and long duration of power outages and continued load shedding have affected their routine life.
The areas that have been more affected than otheres include Adiala Road, Ali Town, Dhok Seydan, Kalyal, Morgah, Dheri Hassanabad, Shakrial, Tench Bhaata, Chungi Number 22, Peoples Colony, Westridge, Chakra, Chuhur Chopal, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Bakra Mandi, Girja Road, Sheikhpur, Chakri, Dhamial, Hayyal and Bunda Nagyal.
“Residents are compelled to arrange water tankers at Rs1,000 to Rs1,500,” said Iqbal, a resident of Tench Bhaata.
He said that many people in the area had been fetching water from a long distance but the authorities have turned a blind eye to the issue.
The residents in most areas of Rawal and Potohar towns have also been facing acute water scarcity as tube wells and pumping stations have not been functioning to the optimum due to power outages and load shedding.
“A number of complaints about water scarcity had been lodged with the authorities but to no avail,” Iqbal said, adding that the water tanker owners have also increased their rates to Rs200 per tanker.
The power outages during iftar, sehri and Taraveeh timings have also been causing immense problems to the people who said that contrary to claims power supply during these timings were continuing. “We are forced to do sehri and iftar in candle lights,” said Israr Ahmad, a resident of Adiala Road.
He said that the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) officials do follow a proper schedule and suspend power supply whenever they want.
Traders of the twin cities have also expressed their concerns over unabated power outages and asked the government to reduce the duration of load shedding.
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Zafar Bakhtawari said that after the payment of Rs332 billion in circular debt by the government, people were expecting that the power supply situation would improve, but contrary to expectation, the electricity shortfall increased to 5,000MW, which was disturbing. He said that the energy crisis was causing a loss of Rs200 billion to textile industry annually.
Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spokesperson Bilal said that they were expecting that the new government would overcome the energy crisis but the problem was further aggravating.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.