RAWALPINDI: With the start of the summer, power outages continuing for hours have started in the garrison city.Local residents said in the sweltering heat it was difficult to live without electricity and water. Moreover, students appearing in online exams are facing problems due to disconnection in the internet.

“We were already facing water shortage and the excessive loadshedding has added to our miseries. One can imagine the situation in in July and August,” said Mohammad Aslam, a resident of Allahabad.

“We managed to install an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) device but its battery ran dry after three hours,” he said.

Sajid Ahmed, a resident of Chaudhry Bostan Khan Road near Chaklala Scheme-III, said power outages created problems for them. “In summers electricity vanishes while in winters we remain without natural gas,” he said.

He said the government failed to deliver and people would get the revenge in the next elections. He said it was strange that the government did nothing for the welfare of the citizens.

“There is no water in our area as motors stopped functioning without electricity,” he said.

“Water shortage and electricity loadshedding have made lives of the residents miserable. The government made tall claims to provide relief to the common man but failed to deliver,” said Sameer Ahmed, a resident of Dhoke Ratta.

He said water shortage had hit the city areas as tubewell could not be operated without electricity.

“We have no air-conditioners but needelectricityto run motors to fill water tanks,” he added.

“It is difficult to study without electricity. I am appearing in an online exam and have to charge the laptop or cell phone but without electricity I can’t,” said Shahmir Hussain, a university student.

When contacted, PTI North Punjab Deputy General Secretary and former MPA Arif Abbasi said there power breakdown in some city and cantonment areas. He said the previous government of PML-N failed to work in the last 10 years and now people are facing results.

He said the PTI government was improving things and put the system in a right track. He said talks were undergoing with power generation companies and electricity issue would be solved soon.

Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (Iesco) spokesman Raja Asim did not respond to queries despite repeated attempts on his mobile phone.

Other Iesco officials said in the summer season transformers developed faults. They said people run air-conditioners, room coolers and other appliances that put extra burden on the supply system.

They said in some areas Iesco had also started work to repair lines by switching off connections for hours.

Power bills

Iesco, meanwhile, appealed to consumers to timely clear their dues so that the company would ensure uninterested supply of electricity. It said its officers will also meet heads of government institutions regarding payment of bills within time.

Iesco Chief Executive Officer Chaudhry Abdul Razaq in a statement said timely payment of electricity bills was essential for uninterrupted power supply to the customers. He also directed all commercial and operation formations of the company to ensure timely collection of bills from domestic, commercial, industrial customers as well as government institutions for which timely delivery of bill is also important.

He requested customers to pay electricity bills within the given time so that Iesco could pay dues to companies from which it buys electricity. — Additional reporting by Ikram Junaidi

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2021

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