Rural areas face 16-hour power outages daily

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The Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) has officially started carrying out up to 16 hours of loadshedding daily.

Following a significant reduction in hydropower generation last week due to annual canal closure, Lesco had already resorted to increasing intensity of outages without making any announcement. The unannounced outages has literally brought back dark and cold nights. Long outages during nights in the middle of cold and fogy nights virtually blanket a large swath of cities and towns, making life motionless.

After subjecting the masses to severe unannounced loadshedding for a few days, Lesco finally issued a revised load management program yesterday. By releasing the new outages plan, sources said, top management of Lesco admitted cutting power supply daily up to 10 hours for domestic consumers livening in urban areas and district headquarters besides punishing the masses in rural areas with daily up to 16 hours of loadshedding.

An official of Lesco claimed that the load management program had been prepared on the basis of power losses recorded in different areas. He added that domestic consumers of urban areas and district headquarters having power losses of 0-20 per cent were facing outages for 3-10 hours daily. While domestic consumers living in areas having 21-30 per cent and 31 to 40 per cent losses will be subjected to 6 hours and 10 hours of loadshedding respectively.

On the other hand, domestic consumers of rural areas having power losses of 0-20 per cent, 21-30 per cent, 31 to 40 and up to 70 per cent will be subjected to 4, 8, 10 and 16 hours of outages respectively.

Consumers of commercial dominated and independent feeders will face three hours of outages.

Most importantly, officials said, there will be no outages for the industry as it is totally exempted from power suspension.

Meanwhile, gas shortages continue to hit hard masses in the city. The problem of low or no gas tends to aggravate on Fridays up to weekends. People living in many areas, including much of Township, Johar Town, New Garden Town, Allama Iqbal Town and other localities are bearing the brunt of gas loadshedding.