RAWALPINDI: Frequent power outages in the scorching heat are testing the nerves of citizens while the government is taking no action to overcome the crisis.

As the temperature rose to 41 degrees Celsius in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the duration of loadshedding has increased in the capital and the adjoining garrison city.

On the other hand, the Met Office has predicted no end to the heatwave.

Rawalpindi and Islamabad are likely to witness very hot weather, with gusty/dust raising winds and light rain/thunderstorm expected in isolated places, the Met Office said.

“The government further increased the electricity tariff in the last one month but has failed to ensure smooth supply of power,” said Mohammad Umer, a resident of Gulraiz Housing Scheme.

He said the frequent power cuts had made the lives of people miserable. “Yesterday night, electricity remained switched off for six hours and Iesco officials also did not attend phone calls from complainants,” he said.

Shujaat Haider, a resident of Arya Mohallah, said outages had exposed the incompetency of the previous PTI government but the present setup had also failed to improve the situation.

“We pay our bills regularly but uninterrupted electricity is not available to us,” he said.

Mohammad Tahir, a resident of Media Town, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif launched the metro bus service between Islamabad and the new airport a few days after coming to power but failed to manage the electricity crisis even after a month. He said the government should pay attention to the issue and ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity to the poverty-stricken people who also suffered a lot in the last four years.

Faisal Malik, of Soan Garden, said elderly people, women and children faced lots of problems due to power outages in the scorching heat. He said three to four hours power cuts at night was unbearable in the summer.

On the other hand, downtown and cantonment areas also faced water shortage due to the absence of electricity. Most of the areas in the city are being provided water through tubewells which could not be operated in the absence of electricity.

Iesco Chief Executive Officer Dr Amjad and other senior officials were not available for comment on the issue. However, other officials said there was a gap between demand and supply. They said in many areas transformers had developed faults and it took two to three hours to repair them. They said workers were on their toes to repair any fault in the system.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2022

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