Load Shedding in Pakistan and Summer 2015 in PMLN Era

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Load Shedding in Pakistan depictionMany things here in Pakistan Change with time but one thing which is stuck as worst issue to be addressed, is load shedding for Pakistani people. Before each elections in manifesto of each political Party, resolving the issue of Electricity load shedding in Pakistan is in top very few priorities.

In early 2013 when PMLN came into power they also had electricity load shedding as very important issue to be resolved. In many public addresses Mian Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif bragged that they will bring the lights back to Pakistan by resolving the worst issue of electricity load shedding.

But seems like the situation did not got much better after they came in Power. In beginning as they came in power issue was worse. Long hours (8 or more hours) of load shedding was going on in whole country. Now. after two years in month of August I see 6 hours of load shedding in major cities of Pakistan. In villages and remote areas however the situation is different, with worse load shedding which ranges from 8 to 22 hours. Now PMLN also connected the load shedding with how better bill recovery is from an area or a city but did not done much to improve those bill recovery rates(percentages).

For major cities just two hours in two years is not good at all. But in times of extreme heat these extra two hours vanish and take few more away with them, making while span from 10 to 12 hours in urban areas alone. Next couple of years are very important for PMLN to fulfill their promise with people of Pakistan and bring back electricity and make the load shedding go away. What they have done till now is not very promising but next two years will decide their fate while they decide whether or not to provide electricity to people of Pakistan.

Electricity Load Shedding Worsens on Start of Summer 2015

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Power Load Shedding in PakistanWinter 2015 have been worse in terms of load shedding. There have been massive load shedding, despite the fact that winters have off-peak demand for electricity. And despite all those pre-election claims of PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz) about ending the load shedding, the situation just gone worse in winters. We witnessed load shedding of 8 to 14 hours and sometime worse.

Now we are on verge of summer 2015, when the demand of electricity is on its peak. It is just mid of April 2015, the weather have just started to get hot and load shedding is already increased to 10 to 16 hours in normal routine. Which is as same as about last year, there seems to be no progress at all. Pakistan’s peak requirement of electricity normally in summers is no more than 18000 MW (Mega Watts). According to a Wikipedia article about power plants in Pakistan, Pakistan have installed capacity of generating more than 23 GW (Giga Watts), which is 23000 MW.

So, there are other factors which government have not been able to manage in almost two years of its tenure, which include the circular debt as well as provision of fuel to power generation plants.

Circular debt keeps getting bigger when government does not ensure the recoveries against the electricity it provided to certain individuals or organizations. When PMLN came into power, WAPDA (Water and Power Distribution Authority) was facing circular debt of about 200 billion Pakistani Rupees, Government paid that from treasury and lessened the debt to near none. But than again they did not made prompt recoveries to keep it none, it grown and grown again.

One other reason is, according to same Wikipedia article mentioned above, lots of Pakistani power generation plants run on Natural gas. So as we know, Pakistan have lately been facing the shortage of Natural Gas, some of these plants have not been running. There were several import options being considered when this government came into power. One notable is Pakistan and Iran pipe Gas Pipe line. Half of work had been done, reportedly the Iran side of Pipe was complete. But PMLN led current government did not pursued the project, eventually ending in severe gas shortage, which affected power generation too.

Also, to deal with that gas shortage PMLN government did worked on importing LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). It was delayed very much but in the end, it was success and ship actually came in and docked to port to offload Natural Gas. Now government have also allowed private parties to import LNG. But than again the question is, why even after import of LNG is started, we have to face load shedding?. Why is it not provided to all those plants to generate the electricity to meet our needs.

What I think from all this scenario is, PMLN led government is saving on fuel, by not running or running less of power plants run by Oil and Gas. Their Number One priority is NOT the power. They are more indulge on other stuff like roads and transportation. That is all good but in today’s era, Load Shedding of Electricity must not simply exist in any part of world. From all over 200 countries of world there are only two to three countries which face this today. Pakistan have all the resources to keep running electrical appliances of people round the clock.

If government is really serious in resolving the power issue, Pakistan will not have an hour of electricity load shedding in year 2016. But if you ever witnessed in 2016 or later, please understand, we were being mislead and no one put attention on solving this humongous problem of people of Pakistan.

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Pakistan Faces Load Shedding in Winter as well Courtesy Artificial Power Shortage by Government

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Its winter time when the power demand in country is lowest of all times. Power demand in Winter ranges from 9000 MW (Mega Watts) to 12000 MW. Pakistan have operational capacity of producing electricity over 20,000 MW. However at most governments run the plants to produce the power around 16 to 17 thousand megawatts in summers.

The interesting thing is many times the government in summer claims the they are producing say 16000 MW and demand is 19000 MW. OK, that is understandable, but why on earth in winters we have to face load shedding. Answer lies in fact that either its summer or its winter, government tries to keep running the power plants on flow of water or any other free energy sources but makes less use of plants which can run on Oil.

Off Bulb in Result of Load Shedding in PakistanSo this way government tries to save money and corruption level in country is so high that it is virtually impossible to know that where that money is gone. Still when they are charging us per unit as if its produced on oil, government does not have any right to power off any power plant to save on the expenses otherwise this itself is considered corruption.

Sadly, the trend of misleading the people is continued in current Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led government hence load shedding in winter as well continues. We however need to come forward and ask our government why on earth they are not able to produce the electricity under 12000 MW in winters when they are able to produce about 16000 MW in Summers.

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Long hours of load shedding hits back Pakistan even in month of October

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High Tension Power Polls in PakistanIt October 2014, temperatures are dropped very much as compared to months of June, July and August. The electricity demand have dropped too due to the lowered temperatures as compared to hot months of Pakistani summers. The Load Shedding had also gone very much down. But how can Pakistani corrupt governments be in peace if people start to live in that. In current case, from no where, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led government thought that its been more than a month, Pakistanis are living in peace with relatively low Load Shedding and here we go, Load Shedding is back. Demand have not gone up this time, nor did the temperatures, but again the Nawaz Regime is unable to deal with circular debt.

A month ago government looted people by over billing them for a month, later responsibility was put on one single individual after whole Pakistan was over billed. This over-billed amount was used to deal with circular debt temporarily. Now as again as govt gets out of money, they were real fast to bring back Load Shedding.

Whatever excuses government comes with over and over again, one thing is for sure, and that is, government have not been able to make enough recoveries, no serious actions are being taken against non-payers of electricity bills and the load is being put on those people who are paying the bills already.

Its out of inability or corruption of Nawaz League, the country is again facing 8 to 14 hours of daily load shedding in just urban areas. One can imagine what would be situation in rural areas. Locals know that Load Shedding in rural areas is mostly few hours more than urban areas.

While there is a group chanting the slogans of “Go Nawaz Go” or found as #GoNawazGo hash tag on social media, its evident now that Nawaz (Prime minister of Pakistan) is failing its people. One month they are being overcharged and next month government shuts down many power plants due to inability to recover the electricity bills.

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What Govt of Pakistan Should Focus on in Year 2014

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Pakistan-in-2014

As we discussed in our Year 2o13 in Pakistan’s Perspective post, year 2o13 was like just another average past year. The country’s and provincial governments were changed but people does not saw any much of positive stuff as compared to previous years. As 2013 ended, people of Pakistan have same issues. Which include, declining economy, declining currency, high inflation rates, law ‘n’ order situation, Health & Education issues, unemployment, shortages of commodities like Natural Gas & Electricity of domestic consumers, industries and businesses, corruption, Issue of drone strikes and much more.

Year 2o14 is very important for newly elected provincial government and is specially important for newly elected Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government in federal. They all need to give their best to eradicate these problems of Pakistani people. As the main role is to be played by federal government, in first step they have to define the priorities and work on all issues in emergency to give relief to Pakistani people. So for PML-N have given imposition of new taxes and tariff heights which they claim, is for greater good of masses. I will however only believe this, if they perform in the Year 2014 and in coming years.

Lets go through the abandoned areas one by one where government need to pay attention.

Law ‘n’ Order Issue:

Along with other issues faced by Pakistani people, Government’s major attention should be on improving the Law ‘n’ Order situation in Pakistan. They need to deal with the extremist elements anyway possible. They need to address the Karachi situation. Government should not hesitate taking help from Army in Karachi. Only a major unbiased operation in Karachi can bring peace in the city. Main focus should be on un-arming the armed wings of Political parties in Karachi and then dealing with other blackmailers and land mafia etc.

In Karachi and other cities there is a need to eradicate the corruption from Police department and put them to some real work. First logical step would be to increase the pays of Police individuals which are very low as compared to their duties. Then next giving them more vehicles, replacing the old vehicles, specially the ones which look from stone age. New command and control centers must be established along with specialized quick response units. They must be given access to latest technology and tech gadgets to track the criminals via cell phones etc. Keeping an eye on them mush also be preference, so that they don’t ask people for bribe to perform their duties or to leave the criminals alone.

On same time some checks and balances are needed to be imposed on courts, so they can deal with more and more cases daily and provide the justice to people, for the thing the exist.

Drone strikes is another big issue, along with extremists the innocents are being killed by these drone strikes. So these are counter productive and putting hates in people who lose an innocent loved one. Either government of Pakistan have to run these strikes or they must be stopped. Dealing with any suspected terrorists on Pakistani soil is job of Pakistani government and no other country must be allowed to operate on our land.

Energy Crisis:

The energy crisis is next biggest issue country is facing. Pakistan is country with is blessed with so many natural resources. Government have to utilize them to deal with the energy crisis Pakistan is facing. According to survey done by foreign researchers, Pakistan have potential of generating the whooping 140 thousand megawatts only by using the winds blowing across the nation and specially in wide open areas of Baluchistan province, let alone the potential of solar or other alternatives like coal which is available in access in country. Where as Pakistan’s total consumption in peak season reaches 18000 MWs. Major work in required by government to fix the issue of electricity shortage in country this year. We are facing worse load shedding even in off peak season.

From last few years Pakistani domestic as well as the industrial/commercial consumers are facing low gas pressures specially in winters. In peak season stoves and burners of People’s homes get cold with no gas available. Even some people have started installing dangerous equipment to pump gas to their homes due to no gas pressure. These things do make the situations worse for the whole neighborhood.

The Baluchistan province is known to be rich with huge underground storage. Only explorations have be made on more areas to make use of these oil and natural gas underground resources. For temporary quick relief of People govt should also consider importing the natural gas. Iran Pakistan pipeline is one abandoned project govt can think of resuming.

So in 2014 government have to not only deal with gas and electricity shortages but they also have to deal with malpractices people are adopting to pump gas to their homes. These practices are not only illegal, they risk human lives. If not addressed soon every household will have to install one such device to grab their own share of Gas.

Health and Education:

Pakistan over the last few years overall seen some improvement in education sector overall but the health situation got worse with insufficient health facilities, non serious staff and nearly no checks and balances on staff in Public sector hospitals. Public sector hospitals also lack equipment and even equipment available to them is too old. Huge improvements needed. More and more hospitals are to be constructed and existing have to be improved. Also, corruption is one big issue in public sector hospitals, big scandals of selling the free medicines out of hospital to get illegal money, giving the substandard medicines in hospitals and other such worse cases were reported by media last year. Govt should better deal with these issues now.

More and more schools, collages and universities are to be opened across the country. Current numbers are not enough with population increasing exponentially. Checks and balances on staff to current schools and collages are to be imposed and specially it have to be make sure that schools in far flung areas are given equal attention and resources, so they can run smoothly. Provision of modern technology and free education facility up to higher education must be the goal.

Corruption:

Its another big issue Pakistan is facing. Every department having people which are eating the public money. Bribe is demanded from people to perform daily duties. This situation have to be made better. Even politician themselves are not free from it, a strong system is to be devised which could challenge everyone even biggest of leaders when they suspect that anyone is involved in corruption. Only a corruption free government, which is loyal to people can take these steps. PML-N are you that party who will do this for people this year?

Economic Downturns and unemployment:

Above mentioned energy crisis, corruption and law ‘n’ order issues, if addressed will put our economy on right track. From there government have to pay attention on railways, PIA and other such publicity owned bodies to not only make some profit from them but give relief to people then also creating new jobs for people.

Lots more in Pakistan need the attention and devotion of elected governments but the above mentioned stuff should be priority to put country back on track and to give relief to people of Pakistan. Its also only way for governments if they want votes in next elections as people are getting smarter and they will only vote you next time, if you will really put forward some good work and give them relief.

 

 

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