Load-shedding culminates into ‘sleep-shedding’ for Bhara Kaho residents
By: Aftab Alam
ISLAMABAD July 19, 2010: Although the dreadful genie of load-shedding is making lives miserable for people throughout the country, yet the poor and helpless residents of Bhara Kaho are the worst affected by it so much so that it has turned into ‘sleep-shedding’ for them. A few miles away from the Capital itself, the residents have to bear one hour load-shedding after every one hour of supply of electricity in the day time. But the night is no less than a nightmare for them as load-shedding is observed from 7 to 8pm, then 11 to12 midnight and finally from 2 to 4am -- making sleep a mad man’s dream.
“For the whole night you can hear dogs barking ( as it is a suburban area) along with the children yelling and shrieking for want of some cool air to breathe and save them from sweltering heat”, described Mrs. Khan, a resident of Kot Hathial on Col. Aman-ullah road.
Another resident of the same area, Saima Shaheen who recently had to go through an operation described her plight saying, “The doctor advised me to avoid heat and sweating as it can infect my stitches, but I can neither avoid sweating in the day nor at night as after every one hour the supply of electricity is cut off and I have to wake up for the whole night in order to keep the wounds dry using a hand-fan in the absence of electricity at night. I request the officials to have mercy on us during the night at least and let us have a peaceful sleep – the only luxury left for us that too seems to go beyond our reach now.”
Muhammad Abdullah Shehzad, a resident of Seri Chowk on Simly Dam Road said, “There is un-announced load-shedding throughout the day as well as night and the complaint numbers of X-EN as well as the S.D.O of IESCO are never attended by anyone if we try to make a phone call to lodge a complaint. At least they should let us sleep. I do not know who makes this stupid and inhuman schedule of load-shedding making sure that we cannot have more than two hours of sleep throughout the night. I am sure the high officials of IESCO would surely have Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) or standby generators at their homes otherwise they must have never made such cruel schedule for us.”
Azhar Mehmood, a resident of Shahpur told his account saying, “We are so much disturbed and mentally tortured by the repeated load-shedding at night that we are forced to sleep inside our car, turning its Air Conditioner on, to save ourselves from the roasting heat, suffocation and mosquitoes bites.”
A mother of two infants, Faiza Aziz, residing at Spring Valley told this news agency, “I am almost maddened by this load-shedding. For the whole night my children cannot sleep forcing me to keep awake with them. Children cry due to hot weather that gets hotter in the absence of electricity and mosquitoes add fuel to the fire by biting my children and me so generously. My husband has gone to Sindh for some business enterprise and I have to pass the nights scared, tense and if I try to lodge a complaint on the numbers written on electricity bill, these are never attended” “IESCO claims on its website that, ‘Our mission is to bring the assurance of energy to our customers, with world class quality and commitment for satisfaction as we continue in our quest for excellence.’ But it is strange that no one cares to attend the telephone numbers given as a complaint numbers to the costumers,” she concluded.
Even after the repeated attempts, the given numbers of S.D.O, X-EN were never attended. When this news agency succeeded in contacting the grid station, Muhammad Rahim, Assistant Manager (as claimed by him) of the grid station gave the statement, “We receive 3 to 4 different schedules during the week for load-shedding that we have to observe, and besides it, we have automatic switches that interrupt the power supply if the load exceeds a certain limit.” But he could not justify that why these automatic switches do not resume the supply for hours once they cut it off. He refused to explain why his bosses are unavailable to the media as well the consumers on the phone to clarify the horrifying state of affairs.