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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his apprehensions about collapse of power supply due to fragile and unreliable transmission network came true on the very first day of Ramazan when 13 districts of rural Sindh and half of the Karachi division plunged into darkness causing immense suffering to people of the province.

“One of the major effects of sudden power outages in Karachi is complete disruption of the water supply system whose restoration of line pack pressure requires 24 to 36 hours if power supply is restored to all interconnected pumping stations. This is a very serious situation, especially when ambient day temperatures are as high as 45 degree Celsius in most parts of Sindh and the holy month of Ramazan has just commenced.”

The chief minister stated this in a letter he has written to federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on Sunday with its copy to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

In the letter, which has been sent through fax and courier service, the chief minister said: “I am writing with reference to my earlier mail dated 24.05.2017 wherein apprehensions were expressed that due to fragile and unreliable transmission network the power supply may collapse during Ramazan, and people of Sindh would suffer immensely.

Khawaja Asif urged to issue orders for immediate repair of the 500kV transmission line

“My apprehensions sadly came true on 1st day of Ramazan (May 28, 2017) when 13 districts of rural Sindh and half of Karachi division plunged into darkness, as a result of 500 KV Hubco-Jamshoro transmission line tripped at around 2:15 am,” he recalled and said that the sudden tripping of the fragile high-transmission lines created cascading effect not only in Hesco-Sepco distribution system but also affected K-Electric which was forced to enter into an island mode for system safety by shutting down power supply to large areas of Karachi. “The power has not yet been fully restored,” he said.

The chief minister further says: “One of the major effects of sudden power outages in Karachi is complete disruption of the water supply system,” and the current power outages have disrupted the water supply from Gharo, Dhabeji, Pipri, COD, Hub and North-East Karachi pumping stations which primarily supply drinking water to the entire mega city. Karachi suffered a loss of about 150MG water due to this power breakdown. “The restoration of line pack pressure requires 24 to 36 hours if power supply is restored to all interconnected pumping stations,” he said.

Reiterating his stance, Murad Ali Shah said “this is a very serious situation, especially when ambient day temperatures are as high as 45 degree Celsius in most parts of Sindh and the holy month of Ramazan has just commenced”.

He said the provincial government would be in a precarious situation if lengthy power breakdowns persisted, compromising quality and way of life of urban and rural dwellers and resulting in a law and order situation.

The chief minister urged the federal minister to direct the National Transmission and Dispatch Company and Discos to immediately take all possible measures for the restoration of electricity to all affected areas in Sindh and also rectify the faults in the 500kV transmission line.

“Besides, repair work on Guddu-Dadu-Jamshoro 500kV circuits may also be completed on an urgent basis and ensure that no such incident takes place in future. Moreover, it is further requested that loadshedding hours may be reduced to minimum, at least during Ramazan, and continuous power supply be ensured especially during Iftar and Sehri hours in Sindh. I

earnestly look forward for an immediate and positive response on the matter please,” the chief minister said.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2017