Editorial : Long, hot summer - Saturday 9th April 2011

WITH the mercury rising nationwide and demand for power increasing, the country is beginning to feel the pinch of loadshedding. The situation in Lahore was quite grim on Thursday as, according to this newspaper, a 40 per cent reduction in power generation caused Pepco to carry out eight to 10 hours of loadshedding in urban areas, while rural areas had to put up with 12 to 14 hours of power cuts. Though officially the shortfall was said to be over 3,500MW, observers say the actual supply-demand gap was over 5,000MW. Pepco says it is carrying out the cuts due to shortages of both furnace oil and gas, while the hydel contribution to the power grid has also come down due to reduced releases from Tarbela. Several power plants also remain out of operation. The situation in Karachi is not much better as the KESC has said residents of the metropolis could face up to 13 hours of power cuts due to short gas supply.
The menace of loadshedding has a decimating effect on industrial production while such prolonged outages in stifling heat amount to inflicting psychological torture on the people. Having to labour without power for over half the day is not a welcome prospect. We must ask what the government’s planning regarding the power crisis is. It’s safe to say there’s barely any. The writing has been on the wall for a while, but what practical steps has the state taken to combat growing shortages? For example, has there been a serious national initiative to try and explore the feasibility of alternative fuels or secure energy supplies from nations with surpluses? Perhaps only on paper. The truth is, there are no quick-fix solutions to loadshedding of such magnitude. Unless there is a miracle and the nation’s power plants start generating non-stop electricity, the people must be prepared for an uncomfortably long and hot summer.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/09/long-hot-summer.html

No comments:

Post a Comment