Pakistan News

Residents suffer as prolonged power cuts continue in Karachi, Hyderabad

Residents suffer as prolonged power cuts continue in Karachi, Hyderabad

KARACHI: The fragile transmission and distribution system of the K-Electric and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company remained affected on Tuesday as electricity played hide-and-seek till late in the night causing hardship and mental agony for millions of people, who already had to spend a sleepless night on Monday due to prolonged power failures following a brief spell of rain.

While the call centres of the KE failed to give any substantial information to people regarding the restoration of power supply, unannounced breakdowns also led to thin attendance at various schools as well as resulting in acute shortage of water in different localities.

A spokesperson for the power utility said: “Monsoon showers and precipitation late on Monday night caused power interruptions in parts of the city including some areas of Defence, Malir, Gulshan and North Karachi.”

The KE carries out unannounced loadshedding in the metropolis for ‘system stability’

However, a large number of people from almost every part of the city called the offices of Dawn to vent their anger against the power utility with most of them wondering what would happen if the city received a little more rain during the monsoon season.

The prolonged power breakdown continued to pile miseries on people in almost every part of the city in the early hours and later in the evening.

Reports suggested that the power supply was disrupted in most parts of the city immediately after brief rainfall around 10pm on Monday and since then hide-and seek of electricity continued till late on Tuesday.

Some areas remained without power supply for the whole night, while the others suffered breakdown of up to 18 hours.

Not only in Karachi, but people across the province faced hardship due to prolonged power failures.

In Hyderabad, a massive power breakdown hit the city after a brief spell of rain on Monday night and till Tuesday night electricity could not be fully restored.

A spokesman for the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) apologised for the massive power breakdown and said that power supply to eight feeders of the city remained suspended.

In the entire region, he said, power supply from 52 feeders was suspended due to “safety reasons”.

In Badin district, residents spent a sleepless night and then a full day on Tuesday without power following moderate rain.

Areas in Tando Bago, Golarchi and other towns of the district were among those hit by the power breakdown.

A large number of citizens of Golarchi town staged a demonstration on Badin-Karachi road to register their protest against Hesco. The protesters lit bonfires during the demonstration.

Meanwhile, the KE spokesperson said: “The power situation was affected by the fact that some circuits of NTDC (National Transmission and Despatch Company) were already offline for maintenance at the time, and the load was being managed by K-Electric with system stability being prioritised. Further, due to EHT [extra high tension] tripping the power supply from Sindh Nooriabad Power Company (SNPC) Limited, an independent power producer (IPP) as well KE’s generation plants BQPS-I and II tripped.”

The spokesperson claimed that while most of KE’s generation plants were swiftly restored the power supply from SNPC resumed by midday.

“Further, the supply of NTDC is expected to fully resume after completion on maintenance activity by late evening today (Tuesday) after which the load management would be normalised”, he said, adding that KE teams remained engaged with key stakeholders for swift resolution of this situation throughout and the collaborative efforts of all parties resulted in the improving power supply to the city.

He said that the unprecedented humidity created a cascading effect on the power supply chain.—Mohammad Hussain Khan in Hyderabad & Hanif Samoon in Badin contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2019

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