Load-shedding is used in the developed world by larger industrial units to manage their electricity in an efficient manner.  In Pakistan, and  many other developing countries, load-shedding is not an tool of efficiency, but rather a necessity.

During the last two years this phenomenon has spiraled out of control to a point where load-shedding exceeds 12 hours a day in places like Gujrat (my parents live there).  Gujrat is situated half way between Lahore and Islamabad (my work and home, respectively)–so I stop by every two weeks to visit my parents for a night on my way back from Lahore.

After this past week in Gujrat, I am worried about my next visit…

You see, in Islamabad–where all the rich folks, diplomats, and UN/aid workers live–I am able to afford a portion of a home for a pretty steep price.  The place is secure, clean, and there was never any load-shedding.  My wife and I used to feel kind of guilty about the fact that the rest of Pak is facing load-shedding, but the rich folks (and we) sleep comfortable at night.  Well, the new government also felt the same way, and immediately instituted load-shedding in Islamabad the day after they were sworn in—good for them.  The result is that there is scheduled load-shedding (1 hour of load-shedding after every 3 hours=6 hours a day), it isn’t too bad now, but it hasn’t gotten too hot and humid yet either.

Last week, I stopped by in Gujrat.  Since the weather had gotten hotter in the recent weeks, my first question was, ‘When and how long does the electricity go out for?’. My moms answer, ‘There is no set time’.  Yikes.

When I got in bed at night it was about 90 degrees, but the electricity was running, so I had the fan(s) on (high).  The electricity went out 4 times that night, I was dripping sweat each time–and under severe attack by mosquitoes. 

The night was not fun, but it really got me thinking about a few issues:

How do people function efficiently in the morning when the temperature reaches 100+ and the load-shedding is unpredictable throughout the night on a regualr basis?

How do businesses function in any manner when the electricity goes randomly?

Isn’t there a more efficient way to manage the energy crisis?

On June 1st, the new government instituted a policy of daylight savings to help the crisis in a small way. 

The hilarious stories of this ‘new government experiment’ will be for the next blog.

One Response to “Load-shedding”

  1. John Tucker Says:

    Power outages in Hyderabad have reached 4 hours per day recently. There has been less rain than usual this year and Hyderabad depends on hydro. That and the city is growing so fast!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: