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Power Shortage in Pakistan


One of the most common questions asked in reference to Pakistan is as to what is the current burning issue in Pakistan? Instead of a simple answer you will most probably be presented with a long list of the problematic issues that have been plaguing the economy of Pakistan and retarding its growth for a long time now. But of these issues, one issue that will be rated as the top most valid issue being faced by both the people and the government of Pakistan, will be the shortage of power/electricity in Pakistan. As in almost every other field Pakistan is suffering also with a very serious crisis in the power/electricity generation sector. In fact according to a recent estimate around 67% of our population continues living in darkness even in this modernized era.

The electricity and power shortage is a chronic problem that has slowed Pakistan’s social and economic growth rate. The problem is not a new one and dates back to the early nineties when the power supply was exceeded by the demand for electricity by thousands of MW. The gap between the demand and supply resulted in routine load shedding. At this point the GOP (Government of Pakistan) intervened through the adoption of policy measures that aimed at mobilization for the investment in the power and electricity sector.

Let’s further review the history of electricity supply in Pakistan. There are basically two companies that are working for the production of electricity. The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) which is responsible for the production of electricity in Karachi, Sindh, Baluchistan and the adjoining areas whereas the responsibility to produce electricity for the rest of the Pakistan falls under Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Though both the companies operate individually through their own networks they are connected with each other at two points. Amidst strong disapproval the KESC was seized by GOP. But no satisfactory measures were taken by the new owners to alleviate the energy crisis, despite their claims of not only modernizing the infrastructure of the company but also making it a profitable entity within a couple. What actually happened was that after the privatization, load shedding and breakdowns in power became more frequent than ever. And now this debacle is not only restricted to Karachi but in the recent months has caused disruptions throughout Pakistan. There have been power fluctuations and power losses because of the insufficient electricity supply.

The continuing power crisis has not only disrupted the daily lives and businesses of people but has also added to their miseries. It has impeded the growth of both small scale and large scale businesses. Industrial progress is in shambles owing to the unpredictable and the unreliable power supply. People are forced to deal with the day long interruptions in electricity and have to suffer in the intolerable heat and humidity with no logical solution in sight. Electricity is a necessity in the fast pased modern society and its shortage not only dampens the spirits of the people but also hampers their productivity. It would not be wrong to say that the frequent power breakdowns have brought both the domestic and social lives to a standstill. The shopping malls and the open markets that were once swamped by the customers are now dark and deserted.

Though people are now reverting to private generators and Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) in hope to cope up with the frequent load shedding this too is a luxury available to only the rich as the sky high prices of the generators and their fuels make it unattainable to the common man who can hardly make both ends meet.

Further the gas crisis is not only adding to but is also aggravating the power crisis. The reason being that because of the recent very cold winter there was an exceptional increase in the demand for gas, gas which is not only used for private needs but which is also used for powering the generators of WAPDA.
KESC, WAPDA and the Pakistani government have unveiled several plans of setting up new plants and starting new power projects that might help in the fulfillment of power requirements. Like for instance a few months back as an effort to deal with the power/electricity shortage WAPDA switched off alternate streetlight points and refused to provide electricity for any kind of ceremonial or entertainment purposes. Further markets were ordered to close early in an attempt to conserve power. But all these efforts went in vain and the power/electricity shortage continued to spiral out of hand. In fact until some effective and swift measures are taken by the government of Pakistan the problem of shortage in power and electricity and their supply will continue increasing and will spiral out of control as the shortage in power and electricity in Pakistan is not only affecting the people but is also affecting Pakistan’s competitiveness in the international market. A liberal policy is called for which has a less bureaucratic approach. Not only will help in the production of energy units but will also help in prospective attractive investments in the power sector.

Simply put when the supply is surpassed by demand there is a deficit and the increase of demand for power/electricity has exceeded its supply and has therefore created a shortage. The population is increasing at an alarming rate and so is the demand for the supply of electricity which is growing at an annual rate of almost 9 %, whereas the supply of electricity is increasing at a comparatively slower rate of around 7 %, which is unsatisfactory. Further the dependence on the thermal power stations for the generation of electricity has largely contributed to its rapidly increasing cost. The government should have foreseen the expected shortage and should have taken some effective measures to increase the power supply. But whats done is done so instead of wasting time by searching for ways to pin the blame on a certain body, time should be utilized to seek a long term and effective solution to the power and electricity shortage crisis. Now it is the government’s responsibility to search for an effective alternative.


  1. Govt of Pakistan power sector is being on telling lie to the nation about power generation in Pakistan.

    As per following details power generation in Pakistan is 12641 mega watts. While 5117 mega watts power is under construction and pre feasibility stage.

    Hub Power Company 1286 MW
    Jamshoro Power Company 1054 MW
    Lalpir & Pakgen Thermal Station 727 MW
    Guddu Thermal Station 1049 MW
    Kapco 1600 MW

    Ghazi Barotha 1450 MW
    Mangla 1000 MW
    Tarbela 3478 MW
    Warsak 243 MW
    Chashma Dam 184 MW
    Malakand Dam 22 MW
    Dargai Dam 20 MW
    Rasul Dam 20 MW
    Nadipur Dam 13 MW
    Shadipur Dam 14 MW
    Chihoki Dam 14 MW
    Renala Dam 1 MW
    Chitral Dam 1 MW
    Kuram Ghari Dam 4 MW
    Jagran Dam 30 MW
    Chashma Nuclear Power Complex 300 MW
    Karachi Nuclear Power Plant 125 MW
    Jhimpir Wind Power Plant 6 MW

    Under Construction
    Akhori Dam 600 MW (under consideration: in pre feasibility study stage)
    Diamir Basha Dam 4500 MW (under construction, to be completed in 2018)

    Gomal Zam Dam 17 MW (under construction, to be completed in 2017)

    Different website were conducted on google for these details.

  2. Cheap Electricity From Kalabagh Dam a need of Citizens of Karachi.
    Disease of Provincialism in Politicians of NWFP and Sindh is mainly responsible for power shortage mayhem and the resultant chaos in the society due to tormenting blackouts and long power outrages.
    Importance of Electricity Versus Wastage of Water for Feudals.
    Why opposition on generation of electricity by Kalabagh Dam in which no water is wasted but provide option of safe storage of water for future use. Electricity is the need of each and every minute and moment of human life, people can not tolerate outage of electricity for one hour while agriculture land can tolerate need of water even many weeks, but why importance to agriculture of few feudals and no importance to electricity which is the need of each and every citizens of Pakistan generally and Karachi specially, because life of all citizens of Karachi(city of lights and Industry) revolves around provision of cheap electricity.

    • Children weeps in the night due to high temperature and mosquitoes bite due to outage of electricity,
    • Students can not study in night due to outage of electricity.
    • Industry can not run without electricity.
    • Machinery can not run without electricity.
    • Surgeons can not operate without electricity.
    • A patient on life machine can not survive without electricity.
    • Even in agriculture we can not use Tubewell without electricity.
    • Fertilizer can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Pesticide can not be manufactured without electricity.
    • Sugar Mills,Cotton Mills,Textiles Mills.Flour Mills,Rice Mills can not run without electricity.

    Above points clearly indicates that use of water for generation of electricity is 1000 times better than wastage of water on land or in sea for few feudals, because water wasted in land or sea is not recoverable but water use for generation of electricity in Kalabagh Dam will be available for use for agriculture and Industry as it was suitable before generation of electricity and there will be no wastage of water.

    Sindh,Balochistan and Frontier are against Kalabagh
    because as per Sindh LOGIC Thar Coal is better than Kalabagh as Kalabagh will emmit BLACK SMOKE and Thar Coal will emmit fresh air full of Oxygen.
    And as per Balouchistan Vision GAS and coal extracted from Balouchistan are one of the most clean source of energy and Kalabagh will pollute air and land resouces and people will drown in Kalabagh and no one is dying in the coal mines of Balochistan.
    And as per Frontier wisdom, Royalty of Tarballa is so important that Pakistan can be broken for that and three rivers of Punjab can be sold to India by General Ayoub belonging from frontier for Construction of Tarbella in Frontier but Kalabgh dam is not good looking as it is in Punjab.
    All provinces want Provincial autonomy but Punjab should open or close its canals , IIRIGATE ITS LAND AND construct Dams as per desire of other provinces and after asking from other provinces Because it is necessary for unity and prosperity of Pakistan as when there will be no agriculture,no electricity and no water then Pakistan will be more united and more prosperous.
    From all above points it is clear that NWFP and Sindh who are opposing the generation of electricity and preservation and safe storage of water in Kalabagh dam are criminals of humanity as well as of World and politicians of these provinces are mainly responsible for shortage of electricity in the country and cities.

    Written By:M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZ.


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