ISLAMABAD -  Opposition parties are set to grill the government in the upcoming National Assembly session over prolonged power cuts in different parts of the country.

Pakistan People’s Party lawmakers have already submitted a call-attention notice seeking a debate in the upcoming National Assembly session about the prolonged load-shedding especially in rural areas even before the start of the summer season.

The PPP, with the support of other opposition parties, will raise the issue in and outside the parliament, the sources said.

Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif had recently blamed early heat waves and low hydel power generation for load-shedding in the country. Asif had expressed the hope that the current state of affairs will improve in two to three weeks. He had also admitted 4554 megawatts (MW) of electricity shortfall in the country.

The PPP after internal deliberations had submitted the call-attention notice to the NA Secretariat regarding the prolonged powers cuts.

PPP MNAs Abdul Sattar Bachani, Dr Nafisa Shah, Mir Aijaz Jakhrani, Syed Mustafa Mehmood, Dr Shazia Sobia and Beelum Hasnain in the call-attention notice have invited the attention of the Federal Minister for Water and Power towards the deteriorating power supply situation across the country.

They have mentioned that the non-availability of electricity has not only affected the domestic life but also impaired business activities. “Industries are shutting down their operations due to short supply of electricity,” says the call-attention notice requesting a detailed debate on the issue in the lower house of parliament.

Other opposition parties will also join hands with the PPP on the issue in the parliament. The upcoming NA session may start from April 10.

Load-shedding has reportedly increased throughout the country with some areas facing up to 14-hour power outages. Officially, four hours load-shedding is being carried out in urban areas and 6 hours in rural areas but the duration of power cuts is reported to be longer than the announced schedule.

Reports suggest that some areas in Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were facing over 14 hours of power outages. Some areas in Sukkur, Dadu, Multan, Hassanabdal, Swabi and Malakand were reportedly facing power cuts ranging from 7 to 14 hours.