12 to 14 hours load shedding continues in city

LAHORE: Increased unscheduled load shedding of 12 to 14 hours continued in the metropolis on Tuesday with additional complaints from electricity consumers of various areas regarding two to five-hour load shedding in the guise of technical faults and maintenance work.However, Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) authorities have claimed that load shedding will be reduced to seven hours from Wednesday as per a commitment between the distribution company and the Regional Control Centre (RCC).During the last few days, the citizens had to face 12 to 14-hour load shedding against the LESCO’s schedule of only 5-hour load shedding.

“Seven to nine-hour load shedding is being observed on the orders of the Regional Control Centre,” said a LESCO official seeking anonymity. “We have no authority of making decisions in this regard and are just implementing the orders of the RCC,” he added.Talking about the sudden increase in the load shedding, he outlined low power generation and continuous increase in demand due to ongoing hot weather as the reasons for it.“Also, the power demand in the city has increased after the dengue outbreak, since most of the dengue patients have to stay indoors, thus, using air conditioners and electric mosquito repellents,” he added.

He said that in order to control reaction from the public, the authorities are observing long power breakdowns in the name of repair work, technical faults in the transmission lines or power feeders.On Tuesday, LESCO faced around 1,000 megawatts shortfall as it got only 2,000MW power from PEPCO against a demand of 3,000MW electricity.Iqbal, Ali, Hanif and Raheel, the electricity consumers of Iqbal Town Begumpura, Islampura, Krishnagar amd Gawalmandi, told Daily Times that power breakdowns were observed in the name of technical faults in the transformers or feeders, maintenance, upgradation work and similar other reasons. They claimed that this was actually a new technique that was being practiced to implement the load management.

When contacted, LESCO Director Operations Farasat Zaman, said that only scheduled load shedding will be observed from today (Wednesday). However, he added that LESCO would increase its scheduled load shedding in the city, from five to seven hours, as per RCC’s rules, adding that only this scheduled load shedding would be observed now onwards and no forced load management would be conducted.

Meanwhile, he rejected the allegations of observing load shedding in the name of maintenance and said that the actual reason was that they avoided closing feeders for repair work during the month of Ramazan to avoid inconvenience to the citizens. Thus, a lot of pending work in this regard had to be completed now because of which several power feeders had to be closed recently. For instance, he said, due to maintenance work at Kalma Chowk, seven to eight grid stations were affected and had to be closed. “We take permit for power breakdowns and announce closure schedule in advance to duly inform the citizens. – dailytimes