Power predicament: With heavy rains, electricity becomes a luxury

Published: June 29, 2016
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Only 20 of 140 tripped feeders restored, says KE. PHOTO: REUTERS

Only 20 of 140 tripped feeders restored, says KE. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: K-Electric’s (KE) systems once again failed to withstand around 60mm of rain the city received in the last two days, with reports of long power breakdowns from across the city.

Sami Shahzad, a resident of Shah Faisal Colony, told The Express Tribune that lights went out as soon as the first drop of rain hit the ground [on Tuesday evening], and came back the next morning. He also complained that due to the dilapidated drainage system, rainwater accumulated on the streets and got mixed with sewage. “People have been forced to pray at home in Ramazan as they cannot move out of their houses,” he said.

A similar situation was shared by Uzair Baloch, a resident of Nazimabad, who too said they had been deprived of electricity since Tuesday.

Azeem Qadir, a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar block 12, said there was no electricity at his house since 1am Wednesday. He lamented that the young of the family were the worst affected as they could not sleep without a fan or AC.

Jasim Rizvi, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal block 13-C, said they faced ‘normal’ load-shedding but complained of severe voltage fluctuation. “Fearing damage to electric appliances, we have not turned on our refrigerators and ACs. The power utility was contacted a number of times, but all their customer service representatives said was ‘our teams are working on the issue’.”

Muhammad Salim, a resident of Defence View, said in the wee hours of Wednesday an electricity supply wire broke down which left the entire neighbourhood without power. “The customer services people of KE could not be reached on phone nor were they replying through their Twitter account,” he claimed.

Later, Salim, accompanied by a few neighbours, went to the K-Electric station in Defence Housing Authority to lodge a complaint in person but they were met with closed doors. “The station was closed and no one was there to listen to our woes,” he said.

‘Top priority’

KE’s communications director Sadia Dada explained that, “140 feeders tripped initially out of which 20 have now been restored.” Talking to The Express Tribune, she said the biggest challenge their maintenance teams are facing in restoring electricity is standing water.

Dada added it has been their top priority to restore electricity at strategic locations and water pumping stations throughout the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2016.

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