Apparently this summer will not be worth remembering, as people across the Punjab province have been compelled to take to the streets in simmering anger against record-breaking loadshedding.
The electricity shows up quite rarely in many areas of the country, particularly in Punjab, ever since the mercury shot up in the last one week. The power shortfall has risen up to 7000MW and the government is resorting to more than 20 hours of power outage in rural, and more than 18 hours in urban areas of Punjab.
The federal government in a bid to make matters even worse for the citizens announced to an increment of Rs 1.20 per unit in the power-tariff.
After the incumbent repeatedly failed to clear the outstanding dues of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), they invoked sovereign guarantees against the government. In case the money is not paid to them before May 10, they warned to completely shut down the power plants.
In the meantime, violent and desperate protest demonstrations were staged against prolonged outages in severe cities of the province. Most vicious voices were raised in Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Multan, Sheikhupura, Mianwali, Phalia and Mandi Bahauddin.
Shouting slogans and carrying placards against the government over its anti-people policies, a large number of industrial workers gathered in various localities of Faisalabad. Beside torching tires on roads and staging sits-in, enraged protestors set ablaze a motorbike.
Likewise, an immense crowd gathered in Multan, holding a demonstration against massive load shedding in the city. The protesters complained that the scorching heat had made their lives miserable and the lack of water due to load shedding had added miseries.
Violent and semi-violent rallies were also took out in Sialkot, Wazirabad, Jhelum, Chakwal, Bhalwal and several other cities and towns against the power outages.
A protestor said the government has made their lives miserable as unscheduled load shedding continues for two to three hours at a stretch.
According to the media reports, some rural areas are observing 20 to 22 hours loadshedding, which make the lives more miserable in scorching heat.
Businessmen too are suffering extensively due to load shedding. They questioned where the revenue generated from power consumption was going, as the government was increasing the tariff almost each month.