Serious flaws in KE’s distribution and generation systems detected by NepraPakistan
KARACHI: A team of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has found serious flaws in the “distribution and generation” systems of the K-Electric which led to prolonged outages in the city that has been witnessing one of the worst power crises in the recent history from the first day of Ramazan, sources and officials said on Sunday.
The Nepra team has been in the city following the Sindh High Court directives to the power regular to “take appropriate action in accordance with [the] law against K-Electric authorities” for long spells of loadshedding and excessive billing.
The team, which held meetings with the power utility officials and visited its facilities as part of its investigations, is due to visit Hyderabad to check the functioning of the distribution system of the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC).
“In Karachi, the team visited grid stations and other facilities of the K-Electric,” said an official. “The team visited several sites in different areas, including SITE, Korangi, Baldia Town, Keamari, Surjani Town and Bin Qasim. It is in the process of collecting evidence and recording statements of the people concerned for its final report. The process is still on and more visits are scheduled in the days to come.”
When asked about the team’s initial findings, the official referred to “flaws” in two key areas — distribution and generation systems — which caused frequent power breakdowns in Karachi.
The team, he said, had visited all the facilities and installations of the K-Electric to find “enough material” for its final report.
Almost half of Sindh, including Karachi, had plunged into darkness when a technical fault in the national grid wreaked havoc on the ill-maintained transmission and distribution systems of the K-Electric and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) in the small hours of May 28 before the first Sehri of Ramazan.
Almost 70 per cent of Karachi was affected by that breakdown. The restoration of electricity began after around three hours and at 12.55pm, the K-Electric claimed in a Twitter posting that “Karachi has now been fully normalised after the power interruption caused by tripping in the Extra High Tension Jamshoro 500kV line”.
A week later, the city is still facing the power crisis. The KE, on its part, has been blaming the moisture in the air for affecting its distribution system. It often claims that whatever power breakdowns the people are experiencing was just because of some localised faults and looked into by the utility after filing of complaints.
The KE has so far been unimpressed by the people’s violent reaction in different parts of the city or a warning from the provincial government and even calls of protest by political parties. Even Nepra has awakened from sleep only after the Sindh High Court ordered it to take action.
“The Nepra team is also scheduled to visit Hyderabad to inspect the NTDC system [which has been affected since] May 21 after 14 towers of 500-KV fell due to strong winds affecting the power supply to Karachi as well. Once the inspection and visits are completed, the team would file its report to Nepra authorities for final recommendation,” the source added.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2017