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Nights without lights

August 09, 2012


ISLAMABAD, Aug 8: The residents of some localities in Rawalpindi were amazed, in the wee hours of Wednesday to see electricity going off just before sehri time, not only creating panic in the last moments before the closing time but also creating confusions about the time of Azan.

“My younger sister was eating sehri when the lights went off — in panic she dropped the cup of tea,” said Anum, resident of Double Road, Rawalpindi.

Likewise, another resident of the area, Amin Abbassi was asked by his wife to stop eating as the electricity went off at 3:30am.

While, most of the residents felt that power outages must have been due to some technical fault, however an official of Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (Iesco) confirmed that some areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad faced scheduled loadshedding of one hour up to 4:30 am.

This was despite repeated announcements by the government that there would not be any loadshedding during sehr and iftar time.

Incidentally, the federal minister for Water and Power, Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, Wednesday chaired the Energy Management Committee (EMC) to streamline the load management, to ensure equitable loadshedding in the country and provide maximum relief to consumers.

The minister was informed about the load management schedule for urban and rural areas and that the consumers were exempted of loadshedding during sehr and iftar timings.However, the officials said that loadshedding takes place after sehr time is over.

“There must be some misunderstanding as the sehr time is changing,” said an Iesco official.

As the hot and humid days are back after a cool break, following the rains, demand for electricity has reached 18,204 on Wednesday with power shortfall reaching 3,958 megawatt, as the total generation was 14,246 MW.

The Met office has predicted that hot and humid weather is expected in most parts of the country.

However, the official added: “Isolated rain and thundershowers likely in Rawalpindi, Gujaranwala, Hazara divisions and Kashmir during Thursday night.”