Lahore residents struggle as power bills rise despite lower use

Akmal, a vegetable seller in Lahore, said that severe power cuts have made the lives of Lahore residents worse….reports Asian Lite News

People in Pakistan’s Lahore have been suffering severe load shedding amid the scorching heat. The residents in Lahore have repeatedly complained that they have to face power cuts generally lasting over 12 hours in a day, despite paying huge bills sent by the electricity departments month after month.

Akmal, a vegetable seller in Lahore, said that severe power cuts have made the lives of Lahore residents worse. He said that the government has failed to fulfil the promises made before coming to power. He stated that inflation has increased approximately three times within months and the government remains unresponsive.

He said, “The government has now failed us. The promises that they had made before coming to power, are now of no worth, as they don’t intend to keep their word. The people of Lahore are suffering, and this is when we have paid our bills on time.”

“I have personally seen the prices of electricity rise from PKR 20 per unit to PKR 65 per unit, and the leaders remain silent. The inflation has risen approximately three times within months and they remain unresponsive. Small businessmen like me are the most affected, there is no business left for us small business owners,” he added.

Mauhaumad Asif, another daily wage worker from Lahore, called the electricity bills the biggest problem for people. He said that he consumes about 200 to 300 units per month. However, he pays about Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 10,000. He claimed that the electricity bill they receive is higher than the units of electricity they consume.

Asif said, “We have been living in problematic conditions. The bills of electricity are the biggest problem, I use about 200 to 300 units per month, but the bills I pay about PKR 10000 per month. And when we raise these issues to the authorities, they sometimes clearly say that the matter does not concern them.”

He further said, “It is the biggest problem in our lives these days. No matter what our usage of electricity is, the bills that we have to pay are higher each time. And I could have deserved these high bills if my family owned an AC but I only have a single fan and that cannot use this much electricity. How will the people survive in this situation?”

People in Karachi have also faced similar issues. Recently, residents held a protest across the city blocking major roads and disrupting traffic flow and daily life. The residents took to the streets as several parts of the city had faced a continuous power cut for 36 hours.

Shahjahan, a resident, during one of these protests, said, “The electricity had been cut since Wednesday 4 pm, and still there is no sign of electricity. All of us have paid the bills, and now we are sitting in darkness, reeling under the burden of prolonged power cuts and load-shedding. But there is no one to hear our concerns.”

“There are just 2 people at my house, my son is the only earning member, and we have a bill of (Pakistani currency) PKR 30 thousand. Now how will the only earning member of my family pay? We have no choice left and when we raise our complaints then no one is there to take action,” he added.

One of the women residents said that there had been no electricity for the past three days. However, the administration has not given any response.

The woman said, “For the last three days there has been no electricity, and there no response from the administration. I don’t know in which direction the nation is headed, no electricity, no gas and no water. What option do we have now? We are not rich at all, most of us gathered here are daily wage labourers. What sort of justice is it.” (ANI)

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