KARACHI: While the people of Karachi have still been criticising Tuesday night’s major power breakdown, the City of Lights plunged into darkness again Saturday night.
Around 11pm, electricity supply from 10 of the 64 grids stalled due to repeated tripping of the 220MW Pipri-ICI power lines, according to K-Electric. Power fluctuations were also reported in several neighbourhoods of the city.
The blackout affected Gulshan-e-Maymar, Shah Faisal Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Korangi, Defence, Federal B Area, Manzoor Colony, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Clifton, PECHS, Shadman Town and other localities.
KE spokesman Usama Qureshi put all the blame on the rising level of humidity, which, according to him, had risen to 99 per cent Saturday night.
He said the power company was doing its best to supply uninterrupted electricity, but “sometimes things get out of our hands, and technical faults can occur any time”.
Qureshi said the cause of Saturday night’s power failure was the high level of humidity, coupled with pollution, and it started accumulating in the form of carbon on insulators attached on the corner of the transmission lines.
“Carbon turns insulators into a conductor and they start working as electric wires and cause short-circuit,” he said. “Had it rained in Karachi, pollution and humidity in the atmosphere would have been removed and the breakdown averted.”
KE is, however, carrying out washing operations of the insulators so that no power breakdowns occur during the Eidul Fitr holidays, he added.
Meanwhile, as a logical consequence to a blackout, 325MGD water was not supplied to Karachi. According to Karachi Water & Sewerage Board spokesman Nazir Mateen, a power breakdown occurred at the Dhabeji, Pipri, Hub and North-East Karachi pumping stations around 12:30am.
The general manager of a restaurant franchise in Hyderi told The Express Tribune that the eatery was thronged by families wishing to have sehri in peace. “At 2am the restaurant was jam-packed,” he said. “The eatery was powered by a generator the entire night.”
A resident of North Nazimabad No 2 said she and her family had been having sehri and iftar in the dark almost the entire month of Ramazan. “All KE’s tall claims before the holy month that there would be no power cuts during sehar and iftar times turned out to be hot air.”
A woman from Gulistan-e-Jauhar said: “It is the height of cruelty that we spend every third sehri sweating.” On Saturday night her family had had enough so they left the house and had their sehri in the open at the Clifton beach.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.