Pakistan has been facing an unprecedented energy crisis since the last few years. The problem becomes more severe during summers.However, this winter was no different.During the peak crisis there was a power outage of 3-4 hours everyday. Those without generators and UPS faced tremendous problems. The prices of both continued to increase due to a sharp increase in their demand.
Almost two years ago the then WAPDA chairman who happens to be a caretaker minister admitted that WAPDA cannot meet the current demand for electricity. Its surprising that such a senior and experienced person took so long to find this out.On top of that the government which talked about Pakistan’s supposedly booming economy failed to understand the gravity of the situation. General Musharraf (R) after becoming Chief Executive used to talk about building dams especially Kalabagh Dam. This was one of the many promises he failed to keep. Even after that very few power plants have been set up to meet the demand for electricity.
During the second government of Benazir some independent power plants were set up. Had they not been setup then we would have had a much bigger crisis with life almost coming to a standstill. I come from the software industry which has been badly hit by the present power crisis. On an average the generator at my office is on for three hours. Our work is not much affected but overall the company’s operating expenses have increased.
The policy makers of Pakistan have so far failed to understand one thing.They do talk about making dams and setting up nuclear power plants but why do they not understand the importance and benefits of alternate energy sources such as solar, windmill energy etc. They are cheap and quick methods for producing electricity.Pakistan is a very blessed country because solar energy is available in most cities all year round similarly wind energy is readily available in the coastal areas.These energy sources if tapped can be of great help in reducing the current demand supply gap.