Right to power: Load shedding affects quality of life, states LHC

Chief justice says authorities did little to produce electricity.


Our Correspondent June 13, 2014
Chief justice says authorities did little to produce electricity. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE:


Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial has said unannounced load shedding has badly affected the citizens’ quality of life.


Issuing the detailed judgement on petitions against electricity load shedding, the LHC chief justice said that 10 to 12 hours of load shedding in a day showed that the authorities had not taken appropriate measures to overcome the crisis.

“The [consumers’] right to a reasonable life and livelihood… is being restricted, particularly on the lower end of the scale because of the authorities’ inability to utilise alternative sources of power supply,” observed Justice Bandial.

He said power companies’ management should be appointed on merit to improve the situation.

“Transparency has been ignored while appointing top officials of power distribution companies.”

He said the option of supplying power to consumers through a single-phase connection… and promising them less or no load shedding had not been explored.

He said the authorities had acknowledged that supply through a single-phase connection could provide some relief to the consumers who lacked means to pay for alternative sources of power supply.

“Throughout the civilised world, commercial activities past 6pm are rare. No efforts have been made to encourage retail business in the early hours of a day,” Justice Bandial noted.

He said the court had taken up the case to indicate lack of intensity, planning and commitment on part of the government to address the menace of load shedding.

He said load shedding aggravated the problems during the month of Ramazan.

The court had disposed of several petitions in this regard a few days ago.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2014.

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