Energy woes: Over half of Balochistan still in the dark

Some 17 districts without electricity after saboteurs blew up four pylons.

Mohammad Zafar July 22, 2013
17 districts were reportedly without electricity. DESIGN: FAIZAN SETHI/FILE

QUETTA: Seventeen districts of Balochistan have been without electricity since Thursday night, when unidentified saboteurs blew up four pylons in Bolan district.

Although, after much delay, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company started repair work on the pylons on Sunday, authorities said that it would take at least three more days to restore power to the affected districts, which include Quetta, Kalat, Khuzdar, Zhob, Bolan and Sibi, among others.

Residents of the affected districts have been facing extreme difficulties due to the prolonged disruption of power, with many unable to obtain water for domestic use. Even though local authorities have managed to arrange alternative power sources, they are unable to provide electricity for more than two hours a day in most of the affected districts.

According to Officials of the Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco), the demand of the entire province, minus the Makran division, is 1,600MW. Against that, they can currently arrange 380MW. They said the provincial capital – where the situation is considerably better – is receiving its power supply from independent producers Habibullah Coastal Power and Sheikh Manda Thermal Power House.

Qesco officials said repair work was delayed since authorities were awaiting clearance from the provincial government.

Leaders of public opinion have condemned authorities for deliberately delaying the clearance for repair work. They accused the authorities of discrimination against the people of Balochistan, saying they were being ‘punished’ for the destruction of the power pylons.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.


Ahmed Baloch | 8 years ago | Reply

When ever the demand increases in the rest of the country, the pylon gets blown up and then some unknown group claims the act. This certainly looks like the power companies and these groups are working hand in glove, as according to rumors billions of rupees worth is electricity is saved when not being supplied to Balochistan and then the same is sold to other provinces/power gen companies and every body gets to make a quick buck, thats why the delay, as every body who is any body only gets to gain. Just imagine, how much money can trade hands if electricity is not supplied for ten days to Balochistan, on top of that these 17 districts are being supplied only 10 to 12 hours any how. its not an act of saboteur but a pure and simple scam.

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