[Originally published in The nation City page]
ISLAMABAD – The wedding of a renowned fashion designer’s son was celebrated with more illumination than the country can afford. The entire lane where the sprawling bungalow is located in the posh F-7 Sector of Islamabad could be seen decorated with lights for the past one week, the glow being more of an eye-sore for those passing by due to the suffering caused to the public by incessant load shedding in the recent past.
The attitude of the authorities concerned is deplorable, as any responsible body would be expected to take notice of such a waste of the country’s already diminishing power resources. However, not much should be expected of the authorities as streetlights are seen lit in the middle of the day, and upon complaint to the CDA’s seemingly efficient citizen complaint number, the only response is the provision of a complaint number, and the lights continue to be on during the day.
Load shedding has made life difficult for all Pakistanis ever since the PPP-led coalition government took control after the February 2008 elections. The case in rural areas has been worse than in the urban areas, with some power outages lasting almost 18 hours non-stop.
Pakistan is currently facing 2,009 megawatts power shortfall, sources in Ministry of Water & Power said recently. Under these circumstances, shouldn’t citizens more responsibly, especially the elite. Or does the state have to enforce civic behaviour through ordinances?