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People in Pakistan face power outages spanning up to 14 hours per day: Report

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Islamabad | June 25, 2023 11:39:48 PM IST
With an increase in power demand, people have been facing electricity outages spanning up to 14 hours a day, Pakistan-based The News International reported. Power outages have been witnessed in an election year, indicating that something is seriously flawed in the energy establishment of Pakistan.

On Saturday, the temperature reached over 40C in the majority of regions of Pakistan and it increased the power demand significantly, stretching the national grid's total energy requirement up to 29,000 MW - 30,000 MW. However, electricity generation could not pick up beyond 22,600 MW despite having a generation capacity close to 50,000 MW, The News International reported citing sources.

People in Pakistan have to face multifaceted chronic problems when it comes to power supply. Their suffering continues unabated in the winter and summer seasons. Residents are deprived of a power supply on one account or another, which includes so-called load management plans, approved shutdowns, technical power failures, and intense fluctuations in voltage, The News International reported.

A relatively new phenomenon of intense nocturnal load-shedding has further added misery to the already suffering people of Pakistan due to power cuts. Power outages during night time have been witnessed at an all-time high. People now face load-shedding for 3-6 hours in urban regions every day in comparison to earlier 1-2 hours between 7 pm - 5 pm, as per the news report.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's federal Power Minister has expressed a different view of what is going on in the country in terms of power demand and supply, The News International reported. On Saturday, he claimed that over-four-hours-a-day power suspension is being made in only three per cent of feeders in the national power grid.

Citing the power figures of June 23, he said a new national record of 30,089 MW power demand has been set. He claimed that 92 per cent of feeders in Pakistan suffered less than 3 hours of load-shedding per day. Power outages on account of technical failures or overloading of systems have not been included in the data shared by the minister.

Power supply during the past 24 hours or so to people residing in more than 500 feeders of Lahore Electric Power Company (LESCO) has been suspended due to tripping of the system. One of the examples of this connection has been Tajbagh, Fatehgargh, and surrounding areas, the report said.

The majority of these regions have been out of power since the early hours of Saturday. The suffering of people began with the toppling of the whole distribution system and now they are facing extreme fluctuations in the power supply, damaging their electrical appliances.

Even though efforts have been made by the power utility to bifurcate areas by creating an independent Tajbagh feeder, The News International reported. However, such a half-baked solution without the installation of augmented hardware proved a futile exercise, resulting in people living in the areas suffering unimaginable misery in the absence of vital energy supplies.

The extreme heat can cause overloading of the distribution network, resulting in rolling blackouts, the report said. However, a lack of proper customer service and the inimical behaviour of local employees left people without a sustained power supply. (ANI)

 
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