Lahore: Civil society stages demonstration against power outages

Although less than the 18 hours of the past week, the citizens are still suffering from 14-hour-long power outages in the metropolis despite claims of the Energy Management Cell of reduction in power shortfall to 5,905 megawatts (MW) on Wednesday.

Civil society activists held demonstrations in various parts of the city, including Liberty Market, to protest against massive load shedding. They were holding placards and banners and chanting slogans against “discrimination with Punjab on power distribution” which was in violation with the decision taken at the National Energy Conference 2012.

Separately, residents of various areas, including Mozang, Sabzazar, Qaichi Amar Sidhu, Ferozepur Road, Samanabad, Gawalmandi, Johar Town, and Liberty Market, also registered their protests against load shedding. Imran Akbar, a resident of a colony situated near Railway Stadium Gari Shahu, said that the area was subjected to power outage of continuous eight hours, from 7am to 3pm, on Wednesday. He said that the prolonged power outage led to water shortage in the area, adding to the woes of the masses already tormented by the extreme heat.

As per EME statistics, the national power shortfall on Wednesday stood at 5,905MW, the total electricity demand being 17,845MW.

Hydro power plants are contributing 4,590MW, thermal 1,475MW, IPPs 5,874MW, while KAPCO is able to produce only 265MW due to shortage of fuel. Oil stock position at all RFO plants remained low.

EMC spokesman said that the IPPs and thermal power plants produced 3,000MW of electricity on Wednesday, which was less than their capacity, due to which the unannounced load shedding had been increased.

Protest demonstrations in various areas of Punjab also continued on Wednesday, while hundreds of protesters were booked on charges of damaging public property. Demonstrators took to the streets on the third consecutive day of violent protests against widespread power cuts.

A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Mianwali while a protest rally was also staged against prolonged power outages and unscheduled electricity load shedding.

Heavy contingents of police were deployed outside banks, fuel stations and markets to protect public property from rioters. Meanwhile, absentia funeral prayers were offered on the roads for a 14-year-old boy who was killed on Tuesday when guards of MNA Riaz Fatyana of the PML-Q opened fire on a mob attacking his house in Kamalia.

In Khanewal, a complete shutter-down strike was observed and lawyers continued their strike to boycott court proceedings. On the other hand, police in Kamalia, Khanewal, Mianwali, Jalalpur Bhatian and other areas registered cases against violent protesters for damaging national assets, arson, vandalism and other violations.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Civil society stages demonstration against power outages.

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