Apr 07 - 13, 2008

In Pakistan, the summer months start from March and end in October. In these months, the country's land temperatures vary from 30 to 50oC. Pakistan is an arid and semi-arid country, where rainfall is sporadic in the major part of the country and therefore remains hot in summer. The sizzling temperature in summer months affects the general environment of the country and the people. To get relief from the high summer hot temperature, the masses frequently use ceiling fans, AC, Room coolers, split AC and electrical appliances. In these summer months electricity consumptions in the country tremendously increased in comparison to winter months, which start from November and end in February. In summer months uses of high power electrical equipments increase in offices, factories, shops and residential houses. Therefore summer months need more electricity to run the income generating equipments and factories. The requirement of electricity in winter month is very low, because most of the electrical equipments remain off and there is great saving of energy in these months.

Pakistan is a country having geographical areas of 796,096 square kilometers. The country needs electricity throughout the year. There are different sources for producing electricity. It has been reported that world is electrified 38.8% by burning coal, wood and vegetation; 19% through hydro (water); 17,5% through nuclear energy; 14.5% by gas; 9.9% by oil and 0.4% by others (wind, landfill gas and solar) means. The energy generated through such means is used to run industries, use in household affairs and agricultural productivity. Seven years back the per capita consumption of electricity in different countries of the world is as (kilowatt hours): USA (11,753), Japan (6,176), Singapore (4,889), Malaysia (1,146), Iran (724), Thailand (636), China (448), Pakistan (340) and India (292). The per capita energy consumption reflects the industrial advancement of a country and above figures clearly indicate the level of development in the countries. There are more than 3 billion people in the world without access to electricity, so there is an urgent need for a strategy of renewable energy source usage for the benefit of mankind.

Pakistan has a total installed generating capacity of about 19,522 MW from different sources i.e. Hydel, Thermal (gas & oil), coal and Nuclear. The break-up is WAPADA 11,327 MW (50%), KESC 1,756 MW (11%), PAEC 452 MW (3%), and IPPs 5,977 MW (36%). Of the total capacity 5,000 MW (about 26%) is hydro while the rest 14,522 MW is thermal and other sources. Between 1985 and 2005, Pakistan's total installed power generating capacity increased nearly fourfold i.e. from 5229 MW to 19,522 MW.

It has been observed in the winter months of November-2007 and onwards (Jan-March 2008) that there was a frequent power failure throughout in the country. Winter is a very cold season when requirement of energy remains very low all over the country. At present there are more than 4-6 hours of load shedding in the country. The requirement of energy power has been increased tremendously. No one has right to make hue and cry, because it is national problem.

With the advent of summer months, the power shortage and frequent unannounced load-shedding in various parts of the country has created havoc and uncertainty and uproar among the masses, as the whole country and the rural areas have fallen in the darkness in most of the times. There would be unlimited load-shedding in summer if ways and means are not adopted for producing electricity. The demand for electricity will continue to rise in the years to come. An average annual increase of eight percent has been postulated.

It has been assumed that plugging power theft can abridge power supply demand. There is frequent news of power stealing by the masses of the country and resulting in load-shedding and power shortage. People are tempering meters, and with the connivance of the concerned taking direct AC connections from the poles. Along with many shanty towns or Katchi Abaddies have been involved in act of stealing electricity multiplying operational loss of the electricity producing organizations and causing power failures in the country and particularly in big cities. Since majority of these settlements have no legitimate access to electricity, Kunda system or electricity-sharing would provide a good substitute to them. Such practices can be controlled. Presently, over 50 million people are living below poverty line. For them, it is impossible to pay full utilities bills in every month. There are many shops which have been constructed in the foot path and road sides and these shop keepers have illegal connection from the poles directly. This is also a kind of stealing electricity. Honesty has almost washed out from the masses. Marriage halls, functions on the roads, light illumination illegally is paved ways for electric stealing. No one has fear of God. We have forgotten the teachings of the Holy Quran and teaching of prophet (PBUH). Even the big influential bosses and ruling elites of the country are not sincere and faithful in this regard. The unity among the people has been smashed. Every body is running for money by ill-mannered ways. Very rare people are thinking for the unity of the country.

Al-Mighty Allah has given Pakistan big rivers, natural resources such as coal, gas, oil, minerals, glaciers, big mountains. It is a land of many splendorous and opportunities, the repository of unique blend of history and culture from east and the west, the cradle of the ancient civilization which has developed around the Indus valley. It is the sixth most populous country of the world (after China, India, US, Brazil and Indonesia), with more than 170 million tough, diligent and hardworking people, which has entered the 21st century as an equal partner in the community of nations.

Now the country needs real unity, we are a divided and disturbed nation. There is no peace of mind in the masses, stress and depression is a common phenomenon. It is because we have forgotten the wrath of God.

There is great need to think for production of electricity through indigenous resources. The reserves of natural resource such gas is decreasing day by day. There is also enough natural oil in our earth crust and we are pumping only 70,000 barrel/day (one barrel =42 US gallons). There are 7 oil refineries in the country. The cost of refining crude oil is very high. And therefore, we are importing almost 75% crude from foreign countries and paying more than 12 billion US$. Our external reserve is also declining and at present stands at only over 13 billion US$. It was almost 17 billion in Dec-2007. We are importing commodities from outside of almost 30 billion US$ and exporting only of 12 billion US$.

There is every possibility of generating our required electricity through our coal reserves. The country has 185 billion tons of coal reserves in the country (8th in the world). We are using only 6% of coal for electricity. There are many countries in the world that have no coal mine but they are producing electricity using coal such as China, USA, Canada. India, Japan, Germany, France etc. Coal is good source for using in varieties of field, such as cement industry, brick-kiln, electricity etc. Possibly there will be shortfall of 3000MW in the year 2008. We must utilize our own coal resource to fulfill this deficit. For this we have to become honest and do justice with others and do our official responsibility honestly. May Allah Who is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient give us courage to do so (Ameen).