By: Majid Siddiqui
We are probably the only Nuclear power in seven, which does not have sufficient energy to cater its very basic needs. Power shortages are daily feature in the whole country. Karachi, the only metropolitan city of Nuclear state has faced complete black out fourth time last night in a one week time. The worse part of the story is that no one showing the responsibility to accept the blame and the Nation has yet to know who is answerable to them about this really gigantic problem. Whether you dare to ask the question from Federal Government run by Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League, Provincial Government of Sindh, run by Pakistan People’s Party or even K-electric, which is responsible to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the people living in Karachi, you will not find the proper answer to know and satisfy yourself. Both Federal and Provincial Governments are playing ping pong with the issue almost all the time. When you inquire Federal Government about the problem, its solution and its time frame, you will always get a vague reply. Same is the situation with Provincial Government and the K-Electric.
Pakistan has been gripped by severe energy shortages for some years with parts of the country facing electricity cuts for up to 20 hours a day. The country has an installed electricity capacity of 22,797 megawatts (MW), but production stands at a dismal 12,000 MW. In recent years, electricity demand has risen to 19,000 MW. Due to lack of maintenance and inadequate investment, some of the installed sources of electricity are unable to run at full capacity, leading to reduction in supply.
We are also currently relying on expensive imported furnace oil to run our power plants, which amounts to 32 per cent of the energy mix. What we need is to turn to alternative energy sources like solar, wind, hydro and biomass instead of relying on fossil fuels.
Ever since the energy crisis hit the country, the whole nation is looking for an answer to one question – will it ever end? This is just one simple question which many governments have failed to address. The former Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) government gave false hopes to the people and as evident, even after the end of their five-year tenure, there is no improvement in the energy sector and the people are left suffering from 10 to 20 hours of load shedding in both urban and rural areas of the country.
The business of the country is completely jeopardized. Whether it is agriculture, Industrial sector or even common business, no one is able to get proper supply to continue its smoothness. The result is decline everywhere.
The Pakistan Muslim League -N party won the 2013 elections with promises to wipe out power outages in Pakistan by 2017 but they are unable to fulfill their promises and its failure is visible to stem the growing energy crisis. (I have doubt about their 2017 deadline and do not witness any sign to see that the present Government can be able to resolve this issue on given time).
Present Government perhaps does not realize that this continuous and never ending issue can jeopardize their right to rule. Political Governments of Pakistan and politicians are already facing severe criticism due to massive corruption and bad governance blames. People are already very tired with the false promises and zero outcome by all the previous and present Government. People in large number have started to believe that democracy is unable to solve the fundamental problems of the country.
This might be the last chance for us to prove that democracy and civilian rule is the only solution to resolve all the necessary issues of our society. We do not have so many life lines to prove our abilities.
Majid Siddiqui is TV and Print journalist with more than 20 years of working experience in the field. He has worked for few reputed local and international media houses during his career. He regularly writes blogs in three different languages include English, Urdu and Sindhi.