The addition and use of some 30 million energy-intensive electric home appliances in the country was the major reason for the 3,570MW power shortfall that resulted in the recent power crisis in the country and not only the higher economic growth, reveals an official report of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO).

Bio-diesel is an environment friendly fuel, with far less emissions than mineral diesel fuel, and is the perfect solution for the food and fuel crisis, according to NED University of Engineering and Technology, Department of Environmental Engineering Co-Chairman Associate Prof. Dr Mohammed Harun.

"The fuel can be obtained by chemically converting non-edible oil from plants that can thrive on marginal land and can be cultivated with saline and waste water. Farmers should be given incentives to grow these non-edible crops, as fuel prices are consistently rising,' said Prof. Harun.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), in association with the National Productivity Organisation (NPO), has launched the second phase of energy audit of textile mills under the energy conservation programme for the textile industry.

Akber Sheikh, Chairman APTMA, Punjab speaking on the occasion has said that there was potential for saving 10- 15 percent of energy in the textile industry by minimising wastages and realising efficiency of operations. The current level of energy consumption by the textile industry is around 1500MW.

Speakers and experts at a workshop on "Ways and Means to Overcome Energy Crisis in Pakistan' have urged the government to find other means to explore, exploit and conserve energy resources, if the country is to overcome the ongoing power crisis.

The workshop, held at the Abdul Qadeer Khan auditorium of the Federal Urdu University for Science and Technology, will continue till Wednesday.

Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf constituted on Tuesday a committee to recommend suggestions to resolve the issue of the power crisis in the city and to improve the Karachi Electric Power Company's (KESC) existing system. He took this decision while presiding over a meeting with the KESC management at his ministry.

Traders on Monday demonstrated against hours-long load shedding in front of district nazim office.

They later blocked Mardan-Nowshera Road for one hour while shouting against WAPDA, provincial government and district authorities. Markazi Tanzeem Tajiran President Hajji Muhammad Aslam, Carpenter Association President Iftikhar Khan and General Secretary Syed Muhammad led the demonstrators.

They said traders had been suffering heavy losses due to high inflation coupled with load shedding lasting for 16 hours a day.

The government has approved an Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) recommendation of upward revision of POL prices, a statement issued by the regulatory authority said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday launched monsoon tree plantation campaign, dedicating year 2009 to environment protection and greener Pakistan.

He kicked off the plantation campaign by planting a sapling of araucaria in the lawns of Prime Minister's House.

Talking to newsmen, he symbolised the freshly planted sapling with a tree of democracy which he said grew in the hands of Benazir Bhutto.

He said forests covered five percent of the land and would be stretched over 6 percent by 2015.

The government has prepared an