| GEO Pakistan|
| Power crisis rages on; shortfall at 4500 MW|
| Updated at: 1124 PST, Saturday, March 20, 2010|
ISLAMABAD: Power outages for prolonged hours in urban and rural areas have belied Pakistan Electric Power Company’s claim that load shedding is observed for only 5-8 hours.
The actual duration of power outages in urban areas is 8-10 hours while it is 14-16 hours in rural areas, respectively.
The electricity consumers will have to suffer even more as the power shortfall reached 4,500 megawatts on Friday, which would result in maximum level of load shedding in urban and rural areas across the country.
Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) sources said that total demand of power was 13,026MW, while power supply stood at 9,426MW across the country. He said the gap between demand and supply could rise due to water shortage in reservoirs and it would affect power consumers more severely in June.
The Pepco sources said there is no getting away from unannounced load shedding under these circumstances.
The industrial sector is near its closure owing to acute power shortage. Several factories have closed their one shift, which will scale up the unemployment in the country.
The trade organizations asked the government who is responsible for the power crisis after two years of government amid their tall claims, as people are still devoid of electricity despite paying the inflated power bills.
Consumers said authorities had collected billions of rupees from consumers across the country in the name of Neelam-Jehlum (NJ) surcharge for NJ power project that has not even started yet and the general consumers are suffering from load shedding across the country. “Where has all the money gone,” people raised the question and demanded transparency and detailed reports on throwing public money down the river.
The Power and Water Ministry officials said hydal production went down by 5000MW with increased demand as the mercury is still rising to higher level.
The officials further said the water inflow at dams is expected to increase next month which would help decrease the load shedding durations.