Nawaz seeks report on prolonged power cuts

July 15, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

LAHORE: Angered by frequent and prolonged power outages during the fasting month of Ramadan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought a report from the ministry of water and power.

The premier’s notice was prompted by an unusual increase in load-shedding hours. Some rural areas of Punjab have had to go without electricity for nearly 19 hours a day, while the urban centres are subjected to 15 hours of load-shedding every day.

The government earlier pledged it would lower the duration of load-shedding during the month of Ramadan, while ruling out the possibility of outages during sehri and iftar. But the promise has gone largely unfulfilled.

Despite being a weekly holiday, yesterday witnessed prolonged unannounced outages in different cities, including Lahore. The power cuts had a domino effect as the pumping stations couldn’t work, leading to a water crisis in the provincial capital.

The prime minister ordered the water and power ministry to bring down the duration of load shedding to a reasonable level. 

He also ordered up-gradation of the system on an emergency basis.

The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) subjected the metropolitan city to long outages in the name of various development works.

The unannounced load-shedding triggered street protests in different neighbourhoods of the city, including Canal Road, Garhi Shahu, Harbunspura, Iqbal Town, Islampura, Johar Town and Multan Road.