Karachi to face three more days of load-shedding

Prolonged power outages in Ramazan have residents up in arms

Our Correspondents May 31, 2017
Angry citizens held protests around the city on Tuesday against prolonged load-shedding. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI/HYDERABAD: The miseries of the residents of Karachi have been compounded since the beginning of Ramazan and will continue for at least two to three more days due to a recent wave of rotational load management spells started by K-Electric (K-E).

The power crisis in Karachi has worsened in the past three days, leaving Karachiites to suffer due to long hours of load-shedding despite sweltering heat.

According to K-E’s Chief Marketing and Communication Officer Fakhar Ahmed, the power supply in Karachi was affected due to the tripping of an Extra High Tension (EHT) line due to extraordinary humidity levels in Karachi and its outskirts once again on Tuesday morning – the third time in three days.

He added that high levels of humidity are expected to persist for a few more days. "In order to avoid any vulnerability in the infrastructure, K-E will be continuing load management spells across the city over the next two to three days," he told The Express Tribune.

Major power breakdown hits Karachi again

The entire metropolis faced rotational load management spells on Tuesday. Areas affected included  Lyari, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaqatabad, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulistan-e-Johar, Safoora Goth, Old City area, Keamari, Mauripur, Jamshed Road, Soldier Bazaar, Defence, Clifton , PECHS, Saddar, New Karachi, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad,  North Karachi, Quaidabad, Malir, Orangi, Korangi and Site to name a few.

Reduced voltage transmission capacity due to humidity levels that have touched 80% is being touted as the main reason for the outages by K-E. The prolonged outages during Ramazan have caused uproar among the residents of Karachi, many of whom protested against the power utility.

The normal load-shedding schedule in low recovery areas is already up to 7.5 hours in three spells of 2.5 hours each. The shortfall of 300 megawatts has resulted in the rotational load-shedding throughout Karachi. K-E is currently supplying 2,500MW of electricity to the city, generated at its five production plants and its share from national grid.

Heat is on: No respite from load-shedding in Ramazan

According to a resident of Clifton, Waseem Alvi, load-shedding exempted areas are also facing power outages. "Why doesn't K-E resolve their issues and upgrade their system once and for all? How long will the city of lights be plunged into darkness for due to insensitivities of the power utility company?" he asked.

Sohail Kamran, a resident of Nazimabad, said they have been left with no electricity supply throughout the day. "This is criminal conduct. Three days of Ramazan and the ignorance on the part of K-E continues just like a few years before during the heatwave," he lamented.

Sindh suffers

Reflecting the utter failure of power transmission and distribution companies, a second major breakdown hit 13 districts of Sindh on Tuesday morning. The National Transmission and Dispatch Company's (NTDC) 500 kilovolt line tripped in Jamshoro, shutting down electric supply to all 76 grid stations of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco).

Asif apologises for Sindh power breakdown

The power went off at 4:15am and though supply resumed over five hours later, it took Hesco an additional seven hours to end the protracted outage.

The districts of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Nawabshah divisions remained without electricity as mercury peaked at 42°Celsius.

Hesco Spokesperson Sadiq Kubar cited the same reason of an overloaded NTDC transmission, since the company's 16 towers collapsed on May 21. These towers, part of the national grid, supplied electricity from Kashmore to Jamshoro after passing through Shikarpur and Dadu districts.

"The NTDC had assured that supply from the damaged towers will be restored from May 30. But now they are telling that it will take five or six more days," Kubar said.

NTDC's spokesperson could not be contacted for the company's version. Hesco's peak time demand has soared to 1,050MW but on Tuesday afternoon the company was getting only 705MW, according to Kubar.

Power outages during first sehri foretell a difficult Ramazan

Power consumption reduces by midnight, as industrial and commercial consumers stop consuming electricity. Yet, both the recent major breakdowns have inexplicably occurred past midnight or in the wee hours of the day.

Kubar said the power supply drops to around 500MW after midnight.

CM takes notice

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that Hesco and the Sukkur Electric Power Company have failed to serve the people of rural Sindh, while K-E service in the city is also poor. As a result, people in rural as well urban areas are suffering a lot in this sizzling weather, he lamented.

Shah said this while speaking to the media after inaugurating a paediatric emergency room at Sindh Government Hospital Korangi No 5.

SHC reserves verdict on petition seeking inquiry into heatwave deaths

He said that K-E has not only failed to upgrade its system but has done little to include more electricity in its system. Now, the people of this city are facing serious hardships due to prolonged power failure and load-shedding, he said.

He said that he had held a meeting with K-E management and they had assured him that there would be no load-shedding during iftari and sehri and there would be overall reduction in load-shedding. "But all these assurances proved to be bubble of hot air," he stated, adding that power failure in the city means failure of water supply as well. The chief minister did not rule out the emergence of an untoward situation if power outages continued.

Shah recalled his meetings with the federal water and power minister and prime minister and also spoke about his letters to them requesting a reduction in load-shedding and improvement in the supply system. "Sorry to say nothing has improved and my repeated phone calls, letters and requests [for smooth supply of electricity] have fallen flat on deaf ears," he lamented.


MJ-Sid | 4 years ago | Reply I would suggest that we permanently disrupt the power supply to the homes of all politicians who oppose progress such as the building of Kalabagh dam. Take away their generators as well. Let's see how long they last before they all agree to move ahead with that project.
Asim | 4 years ago | Reply THis is just a ploy by KE to trouble the citizen so they can push the government to meet their demands for the sale of the company to the chinese.
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