Pakistan to advance clocks by an hour April 1 to save power

March 21st, 2009 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, March 21 (IANS) Pakistan is to advance clocks by an hour and increase holidays in industrial estates to cope with a crippling power shortage caused by the drying up of reservoirs at two major dams.
Water discharge from the Mangla Dam came to a halt Saturday while the reservoir at the Tarbela Dam has already touched the dead level below which water cannot be released.

Quoting well-placed sources in the water and power ministry, The News said Saturday the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has suggested the government advance clocks by one hour from April 1 “to cope with the power deficit that has aggravated manifold following zero hydro generation from Mangla”.

Pakistan has a generation capacity of 14,343 MW, of which hydro generation contributes 6,444 MW. The country currently has a power deficit ranging between 2,000 MW and 2,500 MW, causing power outages of six to eight hours.

Responding to a question, an official said the managements of all the industrial estates had assured the government they would also observe holidays other than Sunday and Friday if the government provides uninterrupted electricity for five days a week.

According to PEPCO calculations, 250 MW of electricity can be saved if holidays are observed on two different days.

However, traders are still defiant and are not ready to close their shops at sunset. Traders in Karachi and Lahore were also not keen on observing holidays on Friday instead of Sunday.

“If they comply with the suggestion, PEPCO can save up to 500 MW of electricity daily,” The News pointed out.

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