Electricity Shortfall: Destruction of pylons worsens power crisis in Balochistan

Citizens irked by prolonged outages at Iftar and Sehar.

Express August 16, 2011

QUETTA: Power shortfall has worsened in Balochistan after two more power pylons of 220 kv transmission lines were blown up in separate explosions near Dera Allahyar during early hours of Monday.

As many as 7 power pylons have been attacked and destroyed in the province within four days, sharply decreasing supply against a demand of 1350 megawatts. Earlier two power pylons of 220 kv transmission lines were also blown up in explosions near Marri Farm in Jaffarabad.

According to Quetta Electricity Supply Company (Qesco) officials, the blast had forced an increase in the duration of daily load shedding all over Balochistan. However, despite Qesco claims of a 12 hour load shedding schedule, Quetta is experiencing 14 to 16 hours of daily power cuts, while remote areas suffer outages up to 23 hours every day.

Citizens are irked by prolonged outages that have adversely affected daily routines and are particularly disgruntled at the absence of electricity at Iftar and Sehar.

Qesco officials maintain that the shortfall can only be met by increasing the hours of load shedding throughout the province.

Meanwhile the repair work on damaged power pylons is yet to be initiated since engineers of National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) are still awaiting security clearance.

“Officials from security agencies appear least interested in providing quick clearance for repairs which will take several days. The pipelines supplying gas to Punjab are repaired within hours,” Salam Kurd, a resident of Mach told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.