MITHI, April 1: The chronic load-shedding which is both unscheduled and lengthened during 24 hour-cycle has badly taxed physical, psychological, and business activities in towns and villages of Tharparkar district.
The arid region of Thar is a hot belt where temperature in summer hovers around 45 degrees Celsius but Hyderabad Electricity Supply Company (Hesco) has resorted to load-shedding schedule for up to eight to 10 hours on daily basis, multiplying the problems of residents.
The non-functioning of pumping stations due to power outage has badly hit water supply in towns including Mithi, Islamkot, Diplo, Nagarparkar, Chhachhro, Kantio, Chelhar, Kaloi, Dano Dhandhal, besides scores of villages.
Number of water-starved residents of colonies of Mithi, Diplo, Islamkot and other localities complained to Dawn that they were compelled to buy water from tanker mafia at the rate of Rs600-12,00 per tanker for they were deprived of the routine supply on account of power failures. Their second source of supply was water in “Pakhal” (pair of rubber bags carried on a camel or donkey), at the rate of Rs30 to Rs50 per Pakhal that contains hardly eight to 10 pitchers of potable water.
A visit to number of small flour mills in the town revealed that frequent and prolonged power breakdown had left chakkis non-operational and rendered scores of daily wagers jobless.
Meanwhile tailors, washer men, and owners of small mechanical and automobile units, relying on electric gadgets were the worst sufferers owing to unending power outages.
Vishan Luhana, Patron in chief of an NGO that supplies free blood deplored the absence of power as it was affecting the blood quality, besides discomforting patients, particularly aged.
Examinations are fast approaching but students are unable to prepare in the absence of electricity. Above all night-time power outage is paving way for thefts and robberies.
There are complaints of damaged electric appliances due to power outages, besides impediments to smooth functioning of hospitals, educational institutes, computer cafes, petrol pumps, tube-wells and offices.