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Long hours load shedding in Balochistan

By: Sana Samad

The richest province of Pakistan, Balochistan is the biggest victim of load shedding. People are continuously suffering from long hours of load shedding. The issue is growing highly, and situation is being deteriorated day by day. The long hours of power cut is continue in summer heat as well. During the summer people become unconscious because of heat wave.
The capital of Balochistan, Quetta is facing the same worst conditions. Quetta is suffering from load shedding of 6 to 8 hours. The other district headquarters have 12 to 14 hours of load shedding. The load shedding is unbearable in small town and villages, they only receive electricity for 6 hours on daily basis. Some villages received electricity just for two hours in two days. That’s two hours in 48 hours, and that type of load shedding is unheard of, in the rest of Balochistan.

It is estimated that total Balochistan required 1,650 Megawatt (MW). Presently, Balochistan is not even supplied 650 MW and supplied is 300-400 MW which is very low and the reason of long hours of load shedding. According to Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) that the electricity distribution company of Balochistan, supply to the province has been decreased, just due to unpaid bills which have reached 130 billion. The electricity companies in Punjab and Sindh have huge amount of unpaid bills, but supplied to the province have not decreased rather it is increased. These provinces have gotten funds and other support, but Balochistan is the most neglected province and receiving nothing from the government side still giving profits to the government.

The Zamindar Action Committe (ZAC) a union of farmers in Balochistan have expressed worries that they were totally depended on agriculture and without electricity they were unable to maintain these things to earn money to feed their families.
More than 80 percent of Balochistan population relies on agriculture. Means 80 percent population is in peril without electricity. The long hours of load shedding, 46 out of 48 hours, has totally affected the agriculture.

A question is rising that why cannot Balochistan secure supply of electricity like Punjab, Sindh and KP. The answer is hidden as it is not tough for the government to resolve this ongoing problems. The current government led by Sanaullah Zehri is the member of PML-N, and they are ruling in entire Pakistan. Balochistan is producing 2,200 MW of electricity by the power plant, the saddening news is that Balochistan is only getting 400 MW. If not the whole MW, only 1,650 MW should be given to Balochistan, so the problems of load shedding would be solved soon. Unfortunately the rest of the electricity produced in Balochistan is supplied to the national grid.

The responsibility goes to the media to highlight the long hours of load shedding in Balochistan, but media is paying less attention, so the load shedding in Balochistan is not known to every citizens of Pakistan. Though the upcoming most developed city of Balochistan, Gwadar is facing unbearable load shedding. Many promises have been uttered for the Gwadar, yet nothing is changed. Gwadar is receiving 14 MW which is too much less and receiving electricity for 6 to 8 hours.

The Balochistan government should take necessary action to resolve the problems of load shedding and the issue should be highlighted across Pakistan. Many cities of Balochistan including Quetta, Turbat, Gwadar and other should be provided full facilities for the prosperity and development of Balochistan that in future none of the Balochistan district may not suffer from long hours of load shedding.

Published in the Balochistan Point on September 11, 2016

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