Power shortfall has paralyzed commercial lift

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A protracted power shortage in the country has crippled the economy, as it has almost brought the industrial wheel to a standstill. Resultantly export targets have not been met. Thousands of industrial workers are jobless now. The unpredictable outages of electricity have not only affected industries but also business.

The energy crisis occurred due to lack of proactive approach, poor power policies in previous regimes and ignorance of sustainable options in the corridors of power. Poor governance and regulation on the part of regulatory authorities is another factor exacerbating the situation. Furthermore, there is no particular framework for standardizing the performance of power plants in terms of efficiently, consuming the fuel while generating electricity.

The current generation mix of the country is composed of percent from thermal plants, 32.3pc from hydro and 5.5pc from nuclear and other resources. The electricity shortfall has increased up to 4000MW during the last week.

There are no longer power outages in rural areas as they face outages of 12 to 14 hours and urban areas face 6 to 7 hours of outages. At this situation, the PESCO Chief Executive Muhammad Wali said last month, “Ending load shedding is impossible without taking measure to save energy. The government will launch a campaign to raise awareness among people on how to save energy.” This shows the government’s seriousness about solving the issue.

Finding the solution of the prevailing energy crisis, a national Energy Conference was held under the supervision of Prime Minister of Pakistan in Lahore on 9th of April 2012. In the conference, it was concluded that the power shortage would be equally distributed throughout the country to redress Punjab’s complaints that it was being subjected to step-motherly treatment with longer periods of power outages than in other provinces.

Instead of advancing the clocks by one hour, office timings would be adjusted to minimize use of electricity in summer season. As a short-term measure all government offices would work five days a week and Punjab which had earlier refused to accept the decision now agreed to it. The step would help conserve 700MW of power.

People have rejected this new burden to take. President Punjab Forum, Mr. Baig Raj is of the view that, “The National Energy Conference is an attempt to deceive the masses dejected over prolonged energy outages. The outcome of this useless conference will not be different from previous conferences that concluded with big talk but contributed nothing towards reducing the shortfall.” He further adds, “There is no hope that the federal or provincial government would do something practical for resolution of crisis except tall claims and controversial short-term measures.”


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