KARACHI: A large part of the city faced yet another blackout on Wednesday night, a day after the entire city was plunged into darkness.
Wednesday's power outage lasted till noon on Thursday in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulzar-e-Hijri, Abbas Town, Azizabad, Yasinabad, Tariq Road, Korangi, Malir, North Nazimabad and Mehmoodabad areas.
The electricity utility claimed that the power outage was caused when a transformer tripped. "When KDA Auto Transformer tripped, it caused 12 out of 64 grid stations to stall, causing a breakdown in some parts of the city," said a statement issued by K-Electric. "KE utilised all its resources in order to fix all network issues and enable it to function in the usual manner."
Read: Boomerang effect: Blackout cuts off Karachi’s water supply
The utility claimed that all the network issues were resolved within a couple of hours and electricity supply was resumed to the affected parts, emphasising that the KE teams worked 'rigorously' to restore the tripped transformer. The KE spokesperson was, however, unavailable to comment on what caused the transformer to trip.
Meanwhile, residents of the affected neighbourhoods denied KE's claims of 'rigorous' efforts to restore power supply. "The power went out at around 1am and our entire area was plunged into darkness, leaving people at the mercy of winds that managed to reach them through the narrow gaps between the buildings," complained Abbas Zaidi, a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
Since this neighbourhood has the highest number of high-rise apartment buildings with little to no ventilation, most residents suffered from the power outage. "We had not slept the previous night for the same reason and we were forced into the same situation again," said Zaidi.
The KE helpline was able to tell him that their engineers were working on resuming the transmission but, Zaidi complained, they were unable to give them a time frame. "I spent the entire night until Sehri looking at the ticking of the clock in anticipation that the power will be restored any minute."
Read: Half of Karachi plunges into darkness
Wednesday night was also the first of sacred nights of Ramazan in which worshippers search for Lailatul Qadr by offering special prayers. Many of them were unable to do so without electricity. "A friend who is staying in a mosque observing Aitekaaf told me that he could not concentrate on his prayers," said another resident.
Bad for business
A large number of businesses have been affected by the recent power breakdowns causing huge losses, pointed out All Karachi Tajir Ittehad chairperson Atiq Mir. "Around 95 per cent of the city's markets remain open till Sehri in these days," he told The Express Tribune. "And the power cuts in late hours bring great inconvenience."
Mir demanded the authorities take notice of the situation and pressurise KE into ensuring uninterrupted power supply at least in the last 10 days of the holy month.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.