Apr 07 - 13, 2008

Electricity is a necessity and is as important as water or any other basic need life requires itself to sustain, the reason is simple and that is everything is connected to electricity in ways more than one.

A definition of a developing country includes the requirement of electricity demand being met by a robust supply. This surely is not the case for our country. However, if it's not the case then Pakistan does not even qualify for a developing country status for all those who are optimistic and even for those who arguably consider Pakistan to qualify for a developing state.

Electricity is certainly an issue which is fast becoming a nuisance; it is also one of the aspects of a deteriorating economy which further desolates the prosperity of the country, it wouldn't be wrong to dub this as the worst scenario faced by our country because it entails so many crisis hitting one after another as compared to any annals of its history.

The case is so severe that in most parts of this country, the electricity is absent than at hand. When asked about; it is replied in a manner which states the hours of availability rather than how many hours one is actually undersupplied of it, this is a big statement which captures the whole argument. The situation is so conscientiously consistent that it jumps onto the nerves, most of the times. And what's more there are no schedules or any sort of notices in newspapers or television for power interruption of various areas, for most of us it is sudden act of disposition accompanied by an electrifying fright.

Recently, most of the urban areas in Pakistan get their share of electricity eight to ten hours on an average and that too mostly is attended by load shading. Not to mention; most of the household equipment are at gigantic risks, if it weren't for the stabilizers most home appliances would have been at stake. Now the situation might be better for those who have generators or any other personalized source of power generation, but then they form a mere 5 % or even less of the privileged class. The situation even worsens for the rural areas where the availability of electricity is merely 2 to 3 hours a day on an average. Small scale hospitals and clinics; where most basic needs are always falling scarce and with the electricity running out, surely leave them with no respite at all. God only knows how to save a life if an emergency case arrives in those parts of the country.

A recent interview of one of the top delegates from KESC stated; that the sudden shortage of supply of electricity is due to the sudden raise in the demand of electricity. What I don't understand is; how in the world, a person sitting at a prestigious position comes up with an answer like that. What the mind wonders; then is, why they are entitled to those big salary packages and scintillating Government amenities. To debilitate it further, it's our taxes on which these packages protract upon. Such an answer is just an insinuation to a fact that these guys have no clue in regard to what was or is going on and what is more dreadful, they never will.

Winter load shading is as bad as it sounds less usage of air-conditioning and other requirements not as heavy as compared to in summers; one might think where do all these Power Watts vanish? In past, winters have been usually pleasant; electricity was almost never a problem. However; the argument this year was; load shading in winters is due to the fact that the glaciers have not melted as fast as expected and the flow of water was an intermittent one, due to which the power generation is periodic. However one would have thought, with the approach of summer this would improve, but the situation exacerbated and still there is no sufficient water in reservoirs to generate adequate energy to produce electricity. With just an onset of summers and months like June and July yet to arrive- all we foresee is a worst picture than ever. With more air-conditioning and other requirements of electricity going up, not to forget the industrial demand of electricity on a rise, not a very pleasant depiction is in sight.

Economies progress to higher levels and then they progress from there to absolute levels, but very rare has been the case where economies have actually digressed to lower levels and from there further digressed to unconditional levels of acceptability. Such is the case with our nation; as most reading this article would agree, that the last year 2007 has been the worst so far in the history of Pakistan and the start of 2008 has not been an ideal one as well. Crises have followed all countries at all times; but so many and so fast, not many minds can recall, at least this constant swiftness. What's more daunting task ahead is the year 2008's ending. We as a nation all hope and pray that at least it should end at a high note, because if we don't then God help us. One of the major tasks faced by the newly elected Government is to pull this nation out from the caveman's era and put it forth in the present time where the power demand is met in an efficient and effective manner. It is utterly significant for this newly elected Government to do so, otherwise just sticking to mere reforms in the shape of raising minimum wages to Rs.6000 and restricting ministers to 1600cc cars will not help save a day at office.