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Discos to observe long shutdowns, loadshedding

Updated December 24, 2016

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LAHORE: Power distribution companies (Discos) will now observe a loadshedding schedule of around four hours in urban areas and eight hours in rural areas across the country owing to a decline in hydel power generation.

In addition to this, Discos can observe long shutdowns (six to eight hours) for “maintenance or maximum loadshedding on high-loss feeders”.

“We have asked Discos to observe a loadshedding schedule of three to four hours in urban and six to eight hours in rural areas due to a shortfall of around 2,500MW that emerged on Thursday due to canal closure,” said National Power Control Centre (NPCC) general manager Ilyas Ahmad.

Talking to Dawn on Friday, he said total power generation on Friday remained between 8,000MW and 9,000MW, while demand varied between 11,000MW and 12,000MW.

That led a shortfall of around 2,500MW, causing loadshedding for three to four hours in urban areas and six to eight hours in rural areas of the country, he added.

On the other hand, the new loadshedding schedule will likely add to the miseries of consumers who continue to bear regular power shutdowns on the pretext of maintenance or high-loss feeders. “It is irritating that the government continues to claim there is zero loadshedding while we bear power outages that last several hours on select days in various urban and rural areas,” deplored Arshad Ali, a resident of Johar Town.

According to a Lesco official, it was a government policy to observe maximum loadshedding in areas of high-loss feeders. “The policy also directs discos to observe minimum loadshedding in areas of least loss feeders,” the official told Dawn on condition of anonymity. He said in winters, all Discos were supposed to undertake maintenance work to keep the system operating well during summers. He said that was why the shutdown schedule was being observed in addition to loadshedding since Thursday.

Published in Dawn December 24th, 2016