IS DST RESULTING INTO POWER OUTAGE ELIMINATION?

UNABATED LOAD SHEDDING GOES ON!

TARIQ AHMED SAEEDI (tariqsaeedi@hotmail.com)
June 09 - 15, 2008

While clock advancing by one hour may more likely to hold sizeable electricity units in national girds upon completion of tri-month period ending on September this year, for the time being it has put traders and housewives into a dilemma of adjusting with the new time schedule. Office workers are not minus out of this perplexed set of people, rushing to reset their morning alarm snooze and going into bed an hour late than before to endure perspiration during night full of staggering electricity load shedding.

In spite of that nine days have been past ahead to resetting clock respite from power outage to electricity consumers has yet to be seen. An average of six hour intermittent load shedding in a day nationwide put stymies in the routine functionalities of community that includes both money generation people of trade and industry and common family folks. Federal government had notified clock advance for 90 days from 1st June to utilize daylight at maximal amidst the perennial power demand-supply shortfall. Notably, this step was taken to overcome load shedding.

Syed Sultan Hasan, spokesperson KESC says, when asked about projected energy conservation due to Daylight Saving Time, "It is too premature to comment on the impact of an hour clock advance over power saving". After three to four weeks, we would be in a comprehensible position to analyze the impact, he said. He is of the view that government's energy conservation scheme would certainly save electricity.

Electricity demand in Karachi has already soared to 2400 MW during this season from an earlier 2200 MW, said he, adding creating a shortfall of 400 MW. It has not been clarified, however, that how does demand keep on rising in the wake of long hours power outages. Quite analogous crisis inflicts on overall country wherein presently 4,500 MW shortfall is told to teasing the Pepco's 14 national electricity suppliers.

The sole electricity supplier of the Karachi city of near 2 crore inhabitants recently experienced blockade of 180 MW supply from its one of power plants. Owing to routine repair work, Bin Qasim Unit having capacity to produce 210 MW impeded supply of 180 MW to city's grid station, said Syed Sultan.

The effective way of Daylight Saving Time is ideally practiced in most of the countries world over to conserve electricity consumed in offices as well in households. Through which several countries save significant amount of mega watts in hot whether in which electricity consumption is relatively high. Around the globe, as many as 80 countries subscribe to practicing DST. Kyrgyzstan since 2005 has been continuing to practice DST.

This is second a time when Pakistan adapted to daylight saving measure. In 2002 for about six months government had extended numbers of hours. This was carried forward as an experiment of saving energy and perhaps did not implement altogether over all segments of the society. At that time, except in state controlled institutions clock hours in offices might not have been advanced. If it happened not then it was a sensible practice of energy conservation as concomitant application of hour advancement inconsiderate of week days' different value or variant sectoral affects can predominantly disturb the economical and societal orders.

In the United States also DST is started on the second Sunday in March and reverted back to standard time on the first Sunday in November. With high probability there is a chance of assorted timing in case of dissimilar application of clock advancing.

But, what in practicality was happened following this sequel of DST in Pakistan was that people in accordance only with their convenience readjusted their clocks. Specially, persons engaged in downstream trade activities such as trading at retail shops have taken least botheration of clock advancement rather their working hours spent on shops have increased by an hour. It is in common sight that they despite opening their shops according to reset-time shutter down usually an hour late. Good for their sales turnovers, but it is not for their health.

"This is a government's pretentious move to hush up its inability of reining in load shedding," a retailer said, expressing his dubiety over deliverance from power outage even after DST practice. However, people dependent on constant contact with the society ought to be affected by the non-standard timing. Typically, most affected group such as of office workers could not help but to readjust their clocks.

The climate of Pakistan is warm and in the country sun continues to shining from 5 am to 7 pm in the summer. To give more daylights to afternoons and less to mornings DST summer time pushed rapid advancing of clocks by an hour. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

Consequently, more daylight logically reduces electricity consumed for lights and bulbs. In addition, people may be turning off their lights earlier than before at night. So in a nutshell effect government is at advantage and comes up with conserved units of electricity attributable to DST measure.

Along with clock advancement government has also pondered at several other methods to save electricity. Reshuffling of weekly holidays is also practiced in developed countries to conserve electricity. In order to save energy and control load shedding direction to government's departments of closing air conditions during 8 am to 11 am would be supportive enough in the power crisis situation if it is paid heed.

National energy conservation scheme that considers declaring Friday as off weekday does not make sense for many. In fact, traders are not apparently pleased with the idea of taking off on Friday and many markets are irresponsive to precept of closing their shops on Friday instead of Sunday. They keep their shutters open through out Friday. Nor they are conducive to close shops by 9'O clock as price inflation is hammering down their revenue below overheads. And they want longer working hours. The conservation of electricity via bagful techniques would be losing its worthiness if it would not redress the irksome power problem faced by the country at large.