LAHORE: People in various urban and semi-urban localities of Lahore and rural areas in the adjoining districts of Kasur, Okara, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib have been facing unannounced loadshedding for four to eight hours since the heatwave gripped the country for the last some days.

However, the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) claims that the loadshedding is only being carried out in those areas alone falling within service jurisdiction of high-loss feeders under the government policy.

“We are paying bills regularly. But the reason behind observance of loadshedding in our area on the pretext of high-loss feeders is absolutely unjustified. I am wondered why the government, instead of cutting connections of electricity thieves or defaulters, is penalising those paying bills regularly by observing loadshedding for hours,” deplores a consumer of Bedian Road area.

According to a document available with Dawn, the Lesco continues to observe loadshedding in a number of areas of Lahore and adjoining districts within service jurisdiction of as many as 225 feeders under high-loss category-3 to 5.

These areas include Kot Abdul Malik, Badami Bagh (Chah Miran and Sultanabad), Ferozewala, Faizpur, Amin Park, Faisal Park, Kala Khatai, Shahdara, GT Road, Ali Park, Jaranwala Road, Sharaqpur, Chunhng, Jia Bagga, Manga Mandi, Thokar Niaz Beg, Batapur, Wagha, Bilal Colony, Mehmood Booti, Davies Road, Shalimar, Kahna, BRB, Bedian Road, Jinah Park, Attabad, Bhikki, Narang, Muridke, Kharianwala, Sarfraz Nagar, Phool Nagar, Chunian, Elahbad, Kahngan Pur, Kasur (Bahadurpura), Niaz Nagar, Khudian, Usmanwala, Kot Radha Kishan, Lalyani, Pattoki and Raja Jang.

Lesco claims high-loss feeders facing suspension of electricity

“It is terrible to live in such an immense and unbearable heatwave. The government must stop loadshedding for those paying their bills regularly instead of penalising them equally with those defaulting on payment or involved in power theft,” commented a resident of Thokar Niaz Beg.

He said the government must develop a system that could easily separate the bill payers and defaulters. “The best way is to introduce smart metering or the prepaid electricity card system,” he suggested.

When contacted, a spokesman for the Lesco said the company, under a policy is only observing loadshedding on the feeders of 3 and onward categories. According to him, there is no loadshedding on up to 20 per cent loss feeders. “But above these, the loadshedding ranges from two to six hours or so,” he maintained.

He said a majority of Lesco service areas are being provided with electricity uninterruptedly.

Meanwhile, the Lesco on Tuesday claimed to have detected a total of 85,576 connections from where the customers were pilfering electricity in all its circles of five districts (Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Kasur and Okara) in 246 days of grand anti-power theft campaign.

The spokesman told the media that the company has also got 78,269 FIRs registered in respective police stations, while 32,965 accused have been arrested so far. “The Lesco has so far charged a total of 99,371,686 detection units worth Rs 3.615 billion to all the power pilferers. He said the company teams found 510 customers stealing electricity through various means and 181 cases have been registered against the accused, while 39 were arrested during the last 24 hours.

On the 246th consecutive day of the anti-power theft campaign, he mentioned that large commercial consumers were found involved in electricity theft and all of them were also disconnected and charged with detection units. Among the seized connections, he explained, 15 were commercial, four agricultural and 490 domestic, and all these connections were severed and charged with a total of 373,636 units as detection bill amounting to Rs 2.657 million.

Apprising the media about some major power pilferers, he mentioned that Lesco charged Rs503,000 detection bill to an electricity pilferer in Sangla Hill area; Rs225,000 detection bill to another thief in Mandi Ahmadabad and Rs200,000 fine in the form of detection bill to a customer stealing electricity in Samanabad.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...