LAHORE: In recent days, the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has started observing hours-long power outages in various parts of Lahore and adjoining districts on the pretext of removing system constraints.

On the other hand, many localities have also been facing power disruptions due to sudden faults developing in the 11kV electricity feeders, Dawn has learnt.

“In the ongoing heatwave, we have been facing hours-long power shutdowns from morning to noon, off and on. This is being done at least for the last two years, Upon contact, we are always told by Lesco that all is being done to remove system constraints or upgrade the system,” says Ahmad, a resident of Johar Town while talking to Dawn. “Besides, sometimes, we are also witnessing power disruption due to tripping or overloading of the system,” he adds, requesting the authorities concerned to take notice of the situation.

Speaking to Dawn, Ikram, a resident of Batapur, says the services related to power supply in their area are, perhaps, the worst in the entire Lahore, as the residents have been facing loadshedding for almost five to eight hours daily.

“When we lodge complaints, the officials tell them us the loadshedding is being observed due to power theft in Batapur and other areas falling within service jurisdiction of high-loss feeders.”

Ikram criticises the government for treating power thieves and bill payers equally and urged the Lesco officers to ensure uninterrupted electricity to all such citizens as are paying their bills regularly. “Is it sin for bill payers to live in the areas of high-loss feeders,” he raises the question.

Talking to Dawn, an official source in Lesco says the jobs related to removal of system constraints or upgrade of the system are always supposed to be completed in winters so that the consumers could be given uninterrupted power supply in summers.

“It is strange why the Lesco department concerned avoids following this policy,” he wonders, urging the Lesco chief executive officer to look into such matters personally.

According to Lesco shutdown schedule, the company’s field formations are observing power shutdowns time to time. On June 6, the company teams observed shutdowns for four hours (7am to 11am) in several localities, falling within the service jurisdictions of 48 feeders. The localities where shutdowns were observed on Thursday included Johar Town, Kot Abdul Malik, Manga Mandi, Raiwind, Industrial Area, Phoolnagar, Baghbanpura, Mughalpura, McLeod Road, Shahkot and Deepalpur.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Lesco says 66 of the total 2,169 feeders developed technical faults that were removed in the time duration—22 minute to 4 hours and 35 minutes. He claims the feeders falling in category-3 have been facing 3 hours outages daily, followed by category four and five which are witnessing four and five hours loadshedding, respectively.

The Lesco CEO was not available for comments.

GAS: The Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited teams on Thursday severed another 90 connections and imposed fines amounting to Rs1.28m on consumers on account of gas theft and other illegalities.

According to a spokesman, in Lahore, the teams disconnected 12 connections on illegal use of gas. A team also lodged an FIR against a gas pilferer.

In Multan, the team disconnected 15 connections on illegal use of gas. The regional team of Shiekhupura disconnected four connections on illegal use of gas. In Faisalabad, the company severed two connections on illegal use of gas and also imposed a fine in gas theft cases.

In Bahawalpur, the team disconnected one connection on illegal use of gas while another two on use of compressors.

The regional team of Sahiwal severed two connections on illegal use of gas.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2024

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