Power outages add to people’s woes

YEARS after years, the menace of prolonged power outages continues to haunt the people of the country and there appears to be no end in sight to their miseries in the short term. The predicament of harsh summer conditions coupled with unannounced load-shedding lasting anywhere between six to eight hours every day in most parts of the country, has made life a living hell for the people.
Of course, the PML (N) government had taken some very visible and immediate steps soon after assuming the office to bottle the genie of load shedding. That included the payment of circular debt, which in fact had provided some respite to the consumers with reduction in power outages as well as exploring different resources to meet the shortfall, which once again is rising above 4500 megawatt. Three years, however, have passed but no significant improvement has been seen in the production of the electricity. Though we often heard that such and such number of megawatts has been added to the grid or will be done so in the near future but the situation on the ground has not much altered as the people are still forced to brave long hours of outages in this hot and humid weather and especially the situation in rural areas is far worse. Certainly, the present government is not to be blamed for the whole mess as Musharraf who remained in power for almost nine years and then the PPP government apart from lip service and jugglery of words did nothing to enhance the power generation and bring improvement in the transmission system. Given the protests triggered by the power cuts in different parts of the country, it is high time for the government to make some concerted efforts to ensure timely completion of the ongoing power projects and rectify and upgrade the national grid and transmission lines so that the increasing demand for energy could be sustained. The failure will lead to more chaos in the country. Uninterrupted supply of electricity is a basic necessity, not a luxury that needs to be fought or longed for.

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