Load shedding cripples life across country

LAHORE: The power crisis in the country has broken all past records, as the dispute between the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and Pakistan State Oil (PSO) relating to the supply of furnace oil remains unresolved and the power shortfall has reached 6,000MW, a private news channel reported on Sunday.Grid stations remained closed for several hours not only in the day, but also at night, making life difficult for the citizens.

PSO has stopped 30,000 tonnes per day of supply of furnace oil to PEPCO due to the non-payment of its dues on account of oil supply, rendering several power houses idle for the last four days. PEPCO arrears against the PSO supplies have piled up beyond Rs 200 billion.The total power generation has currently been recorded at 9,500MW, while the demand has shot up to 15,500MW, leaving PEPCO with a shortfall of 6,000MW.Thus, the duration of load shedding in all major cities has been increased to 12 hours, while in district and tehsil headquarters, it has been increased to 18 hours, and to 20 hours in the rural areas.Load shedding has not only paralysed routine life of the people, but it has also badly affected industrial and commercial activities, forcing some people to close down their businesses, which has added to their woes. –