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Pakistan cuts power, then can’t restore it

Shopkeepers waiting for the power to be restored. Associated Press/Photo by K.M. Chaudary

Pakistan cuts power, then can’t restore it

The Pakistani government has been turning off electricity across the country during low usage hours to conserve fuel, but technicians could not restart the system Monday. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said Monday morning that engineers would restore the nation’s power within 12 hours. Some places like hospitals and airports have their own generators, officials said. But many smaller businesses and homes don’t have generators, and without electric pumps, many people don’t have access to drinking water. 

How much money are the cuts saving? Turning off the power at night was supposed to save the country about $270 million total, Pakistan’s cabinet has said. The country’s foreign exchange reserve has dwindled to barely enough to cover a month's worth of imports, Reuters reported. The government has also ordered malls and markets to close by 8:30 p.m. and federal departments to reduce their power usage by 30 percent. During the winter, power usage typically goes down at night in Pakistan since people are using air conditioners less, making it an ideal time to cut power, Dastgir said. 

Dig deeper: Listen to Onize Ohikere’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about the record floods in Pakistan last year.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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