RAWALPINDI, Feb 25: Amid tall claims by the Ministry of Water and Power about restoration of electricity supply, after a major break down on Sunday night, many localities of the twin cities on Monday remained without power.

The local electricity company continued to switch on and off the supplies for four to six hours, all throughout the day, which annoyed residents, whose only recourse was to complain.

On the other hand, the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) gave the power shortage saga another twist by calling it an issue related to “demand and supply.”

Iesco Superintendent Engineer Sheikh Abid told Dawn that there was an electricity shortfall of 600 megawatts in Rawalpindi alone that had forced the company to go for unscheduled power cuts.

He said that the system received 400 megawatts of electricity against the demand of 1,000 MW.

“After the technical fault in Tarbela and Mangla powerhouses, the whole country suffered. It will take another 24 hours to restore the system back to normal,” he said.

He said that Iesco was distributing electricity in many areas but he claimed the situation would “improve” on Tuesday.

However, there were few takers for excuses offered by Iesco as people from Islamabad and Rawalpindi put the entire blame on the government.

A large number of residents said that the government had failed to improve and overhaul the system. They said that recurrent power outages coupled with water shortages had made life miserable, especially for the children and the elderly.

In Rawalpindi, Mohanpura, Raja Bazaar, Naya Mohallah, Bara Market, Moti Bazaar, Sabzi Mandi, Sarafa Bazaar, Iqbal Road, Kashmiri Bazaar, Narankari Bazaar, Saidpur Road, Asghar Mall Scheme, Satellite Town and Murree Road were areas most affected, experiencing four hours of continuous outages.

Same was the situation on Peshawar Road, Westridge, Saddar Bazaar, Haider Road, Bank Road, Baboo Mohallah, Adamjee Road, Gwalmandi and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) phase-I and II.

While in Islamabad, sectors G-7, G-6, G-8, G-9, I-8, I-9, I-10 and F-6 were hit hard by the power breakdown.

Mohammad Munir, a resident of Westridge, said that gas shortages coupled with power outages were just too much to bear.

“The UPS machines went dead in the afternoon. We spent the whole day without water because without electricity, the machine stopped pumping water,” he said.

Mohammad Ali, a resident of DHA-I sector C, said that he had to run the generator to light up his house. He said that the frequent cuts that often lasted four to six hours greatly upset his family’s schedule.

While Jamil Ahmed, a shopkeeper in I-9 Market, hit out at the government, lumping the whole thing with “bad governance”.

He also complained of poor water supply and attributed it to power cuts.

TAXILA: Over 9 hours of electricity breakdown on Monday brought the civic and commercial life in the twin cities of Taxila and Wah Cantonment to a stand still.

Electricity was restored around 6pm in the evening causing immense distress to the people.

The residents while talking to this reporter said that they were suffering from a plethora of problems due to prolonged power outages, especially water scarcity.

Students of different schools and colleges preparing for their annual examinations complained that they were struggling to prepare for examinations under the circumstances, while businessmen reported low sales due to power outages.

Business activities were also halted due to prolonged loadshedding in Taxila and Wah Cantt on Monday.

The shopkeepers and owners of small businesses like welders, hairdressers, laundry workers, tailors, internet, photocopiers, photo shop, computer hardware technicians and motor mechanics etc had been sitting idle due to non availability of electricity.

When contacted, a spokesman of Iesco informed that power supply was cut off from the main control room at Islamabad and termed it “forced loadshedding due to maintenance in the national power grid”.

ATTOCK: Nine hours of power breakdown was also experienced in various areas of Atttock on Monday, causing electricity problems in the urban and rural population.

Domestic and commercial activities were suspended throughout the district. — Also contributed by Amjad Iqbal and Yaqoob Malik

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