PESHAWAR, Dec 31: The Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) has restarted “hour-long” load-shedding in the NWFP, citing growing demand and decreasing power generation.

The public utility supplying electricity to the whole of the NWFP and parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is facing a shortage of 400 to 450 megawatts during peak hours.

An official told Dawn that Pesco needed about 2,600MW for its more than 2.1 million consumers, while at the moment it was getting 2,200MW from the national grid.

According to him, power generation capacity of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) had badly been affected because of lack of rain, which had widened the gap between demand and supply to 2,500MW at the national level.

The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) advised all power distributing companies to resort to load management to reduce the demand-supply gap, he explained.

Pesco had suspended load management before Eidul Azha. The load management would be carried out thrice or five times in 24 hours for a duration ranging between 30 minutes to an hour on all 11KV feeders, the official said.

Consumers, however, complained that they suffered more power disruption than was being told to public.

People living in rural areas criticised unannounced outages and said that the power utility had announced power suspension would last only an hour while they suffered power disruption lasting at least two hours.

Areas like Sethy Town, Sarbuland Pura, Ring Road, Hazarkhwani, Dalazak Road, Faqir Abad, Afghan Colony, Charsadda Road, and University Town remained without electricity mostly in morning, when the people go for offices.

Consumers said that Pesco was disconnecting power supply from 7am till 9am in addition to similar outages in the day and evening. Pesco blamed out-dated power supply system for power disruption “other than load-shedding”.