LAHORE: Several urban and rural parts of Lahore and adjoining districts are witnessing scheduled and unannounced loadshedding, power shutdowns and tripping for hours daily due to electricity shortfall, maintenance, faults and the overloaded power distribution system.

As the situation is worsening gradually, people are making alternate arrangements, such as solar power, and the installation of UPS, to cope with such a terrible situation.

“The situation considerably improved during Eid holidays as no loadshedding or management, shutdowns, etc, were observed,” says a consumer residing in locality near Batapur. “But after the Eid holidays, loadshedding resumed, making our life miserable. We are facing four to six hours loadshedding on a daily basis these days.”

According to a resident of OPF Housing Society (Khyaban-e-Jinnah Road), they have been facing not only loadshedding but also the brownouts. “For the last couple of days, we have been facing loadshedding for a couple of hours besides power tripping, and fluctuation probably due to overloaded system time to time because of increasing demand,” the resident complained. “Moreover, the officials deputed in the area office of Lesco (Lahore Electric Supply Company) also do not attend phone calls to register the complaints,” he said.

According to Lesco, power shutdowns are being observed to carry out maintenance works in different parts of Lahore and the adjoining districts. On May 15, according to schedule, power shutdowns were observed for five hours (9am to 2pm) in the areas of Liaqatabad, Peco Road, Quaid-i-Azam Industrial Estate, Township, Defence, Sittara Colony, Gulberg, Shadbagh, Badami Bagh, Chungi Amarsadhu, Sheikhupura, Muridke and Kot Abdul Malik.

Similarly, a couple of days ago, power shutdowns for five to six hours were also observed in Johar Town and some other parts of Lahore and adjoining districts.

While shutdowns and brownouts continue, forced loadshedding due to overloaded systems and load management in the areas falling within service jurisdiction of high loss feeders have also continued for two to six hours in urban areas and six to 12 hours in rural areas of Lahore division and other parts of Punjab.

“A couple of days ago, we faced a long shutdown for around eight hours. Similarly, we are also facing loadshedding off and on during peak hours on a daily basis. Unfortunately, no one even attended the phone calls we made for complaints,” deplored a resident of Old Anarkali while talking to Dawn.

A similar complaint was lodged by a resident of Chungi Amarsadhu, stating his locality not only faced a power shutdown for five hours but also loadshedding for a few hours on Sunday.

Talking to Dawn, a resident of a rural area in Kasur district revealed that though loadshedding, shutdowns, and brownouts continue, the residents are also facing issues related to inflated bills.

“Many times, they (Kasur Lesco rural area) sent us inflated bills — more than the electricity we use. We also lodged complaints with the authorities, but no action was taken by the Lesco’s area office concerned,” complained a resident of a village falling within service jurisdiction of Lesco’s Bahadur Pura subdivision.

The Lesco chief executive officer and spokesperson were not available for comment.

However, according to a press release issued by Lesco on Sunday, the company has constituted facilitation teams to deal with the consumers’ complaints. These teams have been assigned to visit the consumers door-to-door and give them emergency helpline numbers.

“Lesco is only observing load shedding in the areas of high loss feeders (the areas where electricity is being stolen). We have also launched a crackdown on power thieves,” the press release quoted the Lesco management says.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022

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