Karachi goes dark as unannounced load-shedding continues

KARACHI: Power cuts in Karachi continue unabated with up to six hours in areas that are exempted. The rising frequency and hours of power outages has citizens worried.

Power was cut off for up to 12 hours  in different parts of the city. Owing to the extreme heat, citizens of several areas also had to face a water shortage as they were unable to switch on their water pumping motors.

Separately, there have also been incidents of motorcycles parked outside in the heat catching fire.

Although K-electric has said that the balance of demand and supply has improved, consumers remain unconvinced and suspect that load-shedding is being done in the name of ‘routine technical repair work’.

K-Electric has however categorically stated that there is no unannounced load-shedding in the city.

While businesses and traders have termed the increase in alleged unscheduled load-shedding as severe impediment in doing business, teachers have complained that they are simply unable to schedule or conduct online classes with such frequent power outages.

Governor Sindh summons K-electric CEO 

Earlier in the week, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail took notice of “continued unannounced load shedding” and has directed the K-Electric Chief Executive Officer Moonis Alvi to take personal interest in the ongoing prolonged and unannounced electricity breakdowns in different parts of the metropolis and address the grievances of the Karachiites immediately.

Imran Ismail summoned the chief of KE — the utility company responsible for power supply in the city — following reports of increasing outages in the city. During the meeting, Ismail directed the KE CEO to “personally supervise” matters related to load shedding in Karachi and “immediately resolve” the complaints of citizens, a statement issued by the Governor’s House said.

The Sindh governor also made telephonic contact with Federal Minister for Energy Muhammad Hamad Azhar during the meeting and called for improving the situation regarding electricity supply in the city.

Azhar issued directions to the KE CEO during the call as well, the statement said.

Earlier this month, the transmission lines supplying power to Karachi had to be restored after the metropolis suffered a major power breakdown due to the tripping of high tension lines at Jamshoro-Karachi link multiplying the miseries of the Karachi residents in the hot weather.

The power supply was suspended in Defence Phase-I, Malir Model Colony, Lyari Kharadar, Khada Market, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, KDA Scheme 33, and several other areas for at least a couple of hours.

An official spokesperson of the Power Division said on May 22 that NK Baldia-1 and Baldia-2 transmission lines were restored at 2:41 pm.

According to sources, over 45 grid stations in Karachi got affected due to the tripping of transmission lines after which the power supply to a major part of the city was suspended.

Earlier in a statement, the power utility had said that the supply to parts of Karachi was interrupted due to the tripping of a KE’s 220 kV high tension line. “Restoration efforts have already begun and are expected to be completed within one hour and the availability of generation supply is enabling restoration to progress swiftly,” it had added.

The ministry of energy had said that the power outage in the city was caused by the tripping of the NKI Baldia-1 and Baldia-2 lines. “The teams of KE and NTDC are working to restore the supply and investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of tripping.”

The statement had further added that the system is normal in the rest of the country.

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