Lesco distribution network failing to sustain demand load

Published July 1, 2021
A youth folds the cover of a boat along the Ravi river during a hot summer day in Lahore on June 30. — AFP
A youth folds the cover of a boat along the Ravi river during a hot summer day in Lahore on June 30. — AFP

LAHORE: The provincial metropolis is experiencing the worst forced loadshedding, besides brownouts, because of its poor distribution system that fails to sustain the heavy power load caused by increased electricity demand these days.

According to officials, Lesco is facing a shortfall ranging between 500MW and 600MW. They said on Wednesday the peak demand touched 4,500MW against an allocation of 4,100MW to 4,200MW.

In addition, the power shutdowns on the pretext of repair, maintenance or upgrade of the infrastructure are also annoying the people in urban as well as rural areas.

On the other hand, the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) continued observing scheduled and unscheduled loadshedding in the areas falling within service jurisdiction of all those 11kV feeders categorised as “high loss” (the areas where most consumers are either not paying the bills or stealing electricity).

However, the situation is most irksome for those paying their bills timely, but residing in the “high-loss” feeders area, due to severe loadshedding in such a hot weather.

“The situation has deteriorated over the last three days, as we are experiencing forced loadshedding on hourly basis, at least three to four times a day. Besides, trippings and voltage fluctuations are making our life more terrible. But who cares?” lamented Arshad, a resident of township.

Iqrar, a resident of Johar Town complained about massive tripping and low voltage almost on a daily basis.

“On Tuesday, the power supply to the area was suspended thrice. When we contacted Lesco office concerned, the official said it happened due to some fault at the grid station and some other technical reasons,” he said.

Since the situation was almost similar in other city areas, those residing in the high-loss feeders areas were of the view that why those paying bills regularly were being punished for the crime of those stealing electricity or not paying bills regularly.

He demanded the government to review the policy regarding the high-loss feeders and provide uninterrupted supply of electricity to all those paying their bills regularly.

“It seems that living in the areas falling under high-loss feeders is a sin,” he said.

When contacted for complaints related to Township, an official, who attended the landline complaint number, confirmed that the system was overloaded, forcing Lesco to observe forced loadshedding in a bid to save the system.

“If we don’t do this, the system will collapse,” he warned.

Lesco Chief Executive Officer Chaudhry Muhammad Amin was not available for his stance.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2021

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