President Asif Ali Zardari took notice of prolonged loadshedding in the country and summoned Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain, Express News reported on Sunday. According to local media, the electricity shortfall in the country has risen to 8,500 MW.Sources said that many power plants belonging to private companies have stopped working as PSO has failed to provide fuel to them.
Chairman National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) Ejaz Rafiq said that the power plants cannot produce electricity as they are not provided with the amount of fuel required.
The private power plants need 39,000 tonnes of oil to produce electricity however they are only provided with 8,000 tonnes.
Rafiq expressed hope that the president might be able to control the situation.
Large-scale protests against prolonged loadshedding gained momentum on Sunday, as scores of people took to streets in Chichawatni and destroyed public property.
The protesters attacked the house of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Zahid Iqbal. They hurled stones at his house, smashing the window glasses, while attacking the out wall of his house with sticks.
Protests were taken ahead to Saddar and City police stations, where the protesters destroyed the jail, letting the prisoners break free.
Enraged protestors also staged demonstrations in different parts of Punjab, including Lahore, Gujranwala and Faisalabad.
Power outages, as long as 20 hours, were recorded in Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
Protestors staged demonstrations on Samundari Road, Novelty Bridge, Mandi Quarter, Korian Wala and Roshan Wala bypass. Tyres were burnt in the protests, while Samundari Road was completely blocked. Police launched a baton-charge to disperse the mob.
The residents of Lahore also staged protests in different areas against the power crisis. Women and children, armed with sticks, took out a protest in the Iqbal Town.
While in other city areas, protestors burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the federal government. Some even disrupted traffic flow.
The Express Tribune