I have yet to find a person in my social circle, and the social circles of my friends and family members who have not been stung by high electricity bills in recent months. Unpredictably high bills have added to the crippled financial circumstances of the people, who are already going through historic inflation and historically high prices of petrol. Despite public outcry, the government has not helped the people cope with too expensive electricity bills.
Why is everyone facing this situation?
Simply: our power generation is too expensive in the wake of high prices of fuel, such as coal, LNG, etc in the international markets. For decades, the power department has been following out-of-date generation modes and policies.
The recent flurry of high power bills has kicked in a debate on the need to change course and hold a lower-risk, lower-cost, greener electricity future. It is not the power bills that have crippled our financial situation; it is the power policies that have punished us for decades and will continue doing so if we do not take corrective measures. A cheap power supply means helping people to live comfortably and lowers the cost of production of everything that involves electricity. If the government and the power department have concerns for the public in need, they should help them out by ending whatever is punishing them.
The consumers of the Lahore Electric Supply Company have paid some of the highest power bills in June, July, August and September. The cycle is not going to end in October bills too. One solution is to reduce their electricity use. Fewer power units on your bill slip mean less bill. But fuel price adjustment defies the trick and this makes the distribution companies the worst-performing utilities.
What should we do to defeat higher power bills?
First, the government should promote greener energy in a way that energy solutions reach everyone.
Second, the public should be urged to improve and upgrade electricity-consuming appliances, such as air-conditioning systems by adding insulation, replacing bulbs with LED lighting, and cutting down energy use. Upgraded gadgets also help cut down overall power usage, which means the utility burns less fuel to produce electrical energy.
Finally, Lesco should provide domestic and commercial consumers with cost-effective power efficiency tools that help cut down overall power consumption.
We are in the mid of September – the month, which is marked as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month all over the world. Let us help those who are vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. In Pakistan, on average, 120 suicides are recorded per day, which makes it the 10th most important cause of death in the country. I am sorry to say the data is for 2020 as fresh data is not available.
What contributes to suicide?
The major reasons are mental health issues and drug use disorder besides the stresses stemming from chronic issues, causing anxiety to social isolation.
How to stem the tide of suicide trends?
The most important thing is to help people who have suicidal thoughts. Many a time, Sometimes having someone available to talk to you when you’re in need can be the start of rebirth and put you on the path to recovery. The first call may be the hardest, but it very well could be the most important call you make – and change the course of your life. The government needs to arrange community resources to help those suffering from mental health and substance use disorder issues. The best method is to provide them company, talk to them and address their mental health issues and substance abuse.