Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

Fed up with LESCO!-Are you?

For those not in Lahore, Pakistan today–something special happened–it rained. Correction, it rained like cats and dogs today.  We loved it–as it was a welcome change from the oh-so-muggy weather we have been dealing with.  Raindrops splashed down with comet-like intensity–washing away every particle of summer dust that had settled on the city’s greenery.

However, the prolonged loadshedding schedule and additional outages ensured that Lahoris came  back down to earth.

Lets take for example the community I reside in–where on average we experience ‘schedule loadshedding’ for 10 hours a day. This translates into not having electricity in our homes about every hour or so–throughout the day–without consideration for weekdays or weekends.

With such a situation, all our basic electrical appliances have either died or been sent to the local repairman. List includes the washing machine, refrigerator, microwave, so and so forth. This is ridiculous, to say the least.

In the wake of this major rainfall today in the city, our local trusty LESCO bunch added another hour of loadshedding. Yes, ADDED!  When we called to ask whether this was due to a fault in the local grid network, a rather disgruntled LESCO employee said that an hour had been officially added to the schedule–and that we will probably face another increase in our monthly electricity bills–as well!  When we expressed our disapproval, he said that the higher-ups are the ones making the call and that the location he went home to often did not get electricity for 8 straight hours!

Navigating our way through the LESCO complaints directory, we got through another LESCO employee–this time a bit higher up in the pecking order.  According to LESCO employee number two, the higher ups believe that there are not any complaints and that people are okay with the current situation of power supply (wow that is an ironic phrase–‘power supply’). 

Umm, Lahoris, are we OK with what is going on? Are we OK with our hard earned money going down the drain every month–when we pay for a service that we barely recieve?  Are we OK with spending hours listening to whirring generators/ups ?

I doubt that.  But what I think the problem is that somehow, the complaints are not getting through. Is there not enough media coverage? Possibly. Is there not enough public outcry? No, people are making their point.

 I know this sentiment is not new, nor is the situation unfamiliar to those residing in Pakistan–but the point being, something must be done.

My recommendation:

Call the SDOs, the XENs  responsible for the electricity supply in your neighborhood. Here is the LESCO website link

Keep tab of the scheduled loadshedding–everytime unscheduled loadshedding takes place, try to lodge a formal written complaint.

Get the neighbors involved–have them do the same.

Communicate your plight, your problem, your discomfort with the current electricity loadshedding schedule. Write an email, a letter to the editor, or to a member of the provincial assembly.  I am sure there are those of you who have family members relying on vital life support machines, or even breathing aids such as nebulizers–all which are run by electricity.

If you have more ideas, please share with us in the comments section.

Remember, this an essential service that you are paying for and that you deserve customer service.

Lahore Electric Shortage Company

Yesterday, the Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf said that there would be no unannounced loadshedding across the country during “Sehr” and “Iftar” time, adding that people can contact him on his cell number 0333-5210000 in case of loadshedding during Sehr or Iftar. He failed to mention our options for ‘announced loadshedding’ during Sehr and Iftar, or ‘unannounced loadshedding’ during the remaining 22 hours of the day, but we won’t go there.

I am a big fan of loadshedding and consider it a permanent part of the Lahori lifestyle, but I just HAD to try to call our minister during today’s three hour long unannounced loadshedding spell between 6PM to 9PM (which is Iftar time) in the Cantt area. I tried dialing for 20 minutes but his cell (0333 5210000) was turned off.

All I wanted was an opportunity to thank him for being so approachable and open, and for giving us the unplugged time that we Lahoris desperately need. I also wanted to thank him for turning me into a prolific Realist painter, which is a miracle as I have had no formal training.

Here is my masterpiece from yesterday, called ‘Starless Night in Lahore’:

Lahore at Night

Starless Night in Lahore

and the one I did today – I call this one ‘Lahore by Candlelight’:

Lahore by Candlelight

Lahore by Candlelight

None of these are for sale, sorry! – but you might see them in an exhibition titled ‘Lahore in the 21st Century’ in the near future.

Anyway, besides our beloved Minister (0333 5210000), I also tried

  1. the LESCO “Electric Supply Failure Contact” 042 9220425
  2. the SDO’s number 0321 4951542 and
  3. the cell number 0321 4951540 for the “XEN” (which is probably the coolest title abbrev. ever).

So I hope that you will write these numbers down and spare some time to call them the next time you experience an ‘unannounced loadshedding’ time. If you manage to get through, please share your experience here. Meanwhile, I’ll be out there, working on my next painting.

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