LAHORE - Despite the tall claims by the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco), at least eight hours unscheduled loadshedding is continued here in the provincial metropolis, as the traders, growers, and general public has strongly rejected 6 per cent increase in the power tariff, terming it unrealistic and unjustified. The local residents say that six to eight hours unannounced power outages are disturbing the life across the Punjab besides badly affecting the business of shopkeepers and small traders in the province. There was six-hour continuous power outage (from 8:00 am to 02:00 pm) in Johar Town on Thursday, which led to water shortage, as we had to wait for hours to clean the dishes and clothes, Mrs Sadiq told this reporter over telephone. Since this government came into power, they are multiplying the miseries of the people due to the anti-people economic policies. The government has badly failed to deliver. The electricity tariff are being substantially increased while the government has failed to overcome loadshedding, Mustafa Khan, a resident of Multan Road said. The unannounced loadshedding has become the order of the day. It often results in water shortage as the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) cannot run its tubewells during the outages, Irfan Ali, a resident of Iqbal Town said. He was of the view that they were suffering a three-hour power shutdown after every hour during midnight. The consumer complained that the LESCO officials did not respond to the calls of the local residents at the complaint centres. I tried to contact the Lesco officials to know why such massive unannounced loadshedding had surfaced again. But despite repeated attempts there was no one to attend the call, Afzal Ahmed of Garden Town said. He further said that the renewed spell of outages, especially in the wee hours, was annoying and demanded the officials concerned to at least announce a schedule for loadshedding. He demanded the government to intervene and issue strict instructions to the officials for providing relief to the domestic consumers. Salman Ali, a resident of Township, says people are fed up with unannounced power shutdowns and increase in power tariff. The government has notified about 6 per cent increase in power tariff but they (authorities) still have failed to ensure uninterrupted power supply, which is injustice with the helpless consumers, he commented. Sources in the Lesco said they had no schedule for loadshedding. The senior officials had directed the management of all the grid stations in the City to follow the directives of the National Control Centre and resort to loadshedding when it is necessary, an official said, seeking anonymity. Meanwhile, the traders, industrialists, growers and particularly the general public has strongly rejected the increase in electricity tariff and blasted the PPP-led government for making the lives of the people more miserable. The general public termed the increase in power tariff as 'drone attack on the poor and said that the government is plundering money from the pockets of people to meet their unwanted expenditures. They further said that the considerable increase in power tariff would bring a tsunami of inflation in the country, as it would increase the cost of doing business besides putting extra burden on the already inflation-hit public. The increase in electricity prices was bound to bring the industrial wheel to a grinding halt as the input cost is already too high and Pakistani merchandise had lost their due place in the international market, Sultan Aslam a local trader said. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani had announced that the government would not increase power tariff before ending loadshedding from the country. But despite this claim by the PM, his government has increased 6 per cent power tariff while the Lahorites are bearing 8 hours loadshedding.