LAHORE: Scheduled and unscheduled load shedding of electricity and gas is creating problems for the citizens bringing their routine life to a halt. The Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO), on considering the shortfall on Monday, resumed supply to the industry with no time-barred load shedding for the CNG sector.
Eight to ten hours of load shedding is being observed in various parts of the provincial metropolis against the scheduled five hours after some power plants were affected due to the extreme foggy conditions. The affected plants include the Engro Thermal Power Plant, Liberty Power Plant and the Guddu Power Plant.
The increase in load shedding is also due to the annual closure of canals. According to PEPCO spokesman, there was a 2,956MW power shortfall in the country on Monday as power generation was 10,321MW against a demand of 13,286MW, while generation through hydal power plants was 1,793 MW, thermal 1,785, independent power plants (IPPs) 6,681 MW, Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) 640MW and rental power plants (RPPS) 62MW.
Besides CNG load shedding in the city, a large number of domestic consumers remained without gas altogether. On the other hand Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) authorities have blamed the misuse of gas by consumers, labelling it as the main reason for the low gas pressure problem.
An SNGPL spokesman, while talking to Daily Times, said, “We have ensured maximum pressure of gas supply to domestic consumers from 6:30 to 8:30 in the morning and the same time in the evening, and we are requesting people to cook food during these time slots, as we have ensured maximum gas provision during these hours,” he said. He also requested the gas consumers to avoid any gas misuse as it deprived others of this facility.
For the CNG sector, there is a two-day scheduled load shedding and in the remaining five days, long queues are seen at filling stations due to low gas pressure. All throughout the last week, citizens could not get sufficient gas.
All Pakistan CNG Association (APCA) Supreme Council Chairman Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, during a meeting of the Central Executive Council of the association, threatened the government of a strike if there is not a regularised and rapid supply of gas, both in domestic and CNG sector. “We appeal to the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take serious notice of this issue. This unfair and unjust gas distribution system has resulted in Pakistan’s worst gas crisis. 100 percent middle and lower middle class people use CNG transport but they are suffering now due to this shortage. All this is causing big financial losses and large-scale unemployment,” he said.
The meeting passed a resolution unanimously that if the January 11 (today’s) meeting with the Federal Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar didn’t produce desired results, the CNG sector would go on strike. Paracha said that they were very hopeful that the upcoming meeting would result in the best interest of the deprived community.
However, SNGPL spokesman said that they have stored supply to the industrial consumers of Punjab on Monday and there was no load shedding schedule for the industry so far. “Keeping in view the demand and supply system, the new schedule would be announced later,” he said.
For the CNG sector, he said there was only a two-day load shedding in the provincial metropolis as well in the other cities of the province. About the time-barred load shedding, he said there was a misconception being projected by a section of media. No time-barred load shedding is being announced for the CNG sector, he clarified.