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LAHORE: People in Lahore and adjoining districts continued facing scheduled loadshedding besides hours long shutdowns triggered by tripping and other system constraints on Sunday and Monday.

“The first day of Ramazan (Sunday) was tougher than the second day,” Ghaffar, of Township, said.

“Loadshedding was observed on an hourly basis. Besides this, there was three hours shutdown in the evening.”

The Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) has also been in troubles since Sunday and Monday because of power generation, demand-supply gap, constraints in allocation and distribution and feeders’ tripping.

Lesco officials say that with the rise in mercury, the power demand jumped to over 4,500 megawatt (MW) on Sunday and Monday.

“Lesco was, however, supplied its allocated quota -- 3,300MW to 3,400MW -- leaving it with a shortfall of over 1,100MW in peak hours,” said a Lesco official.

Lesco observed loadshedding for six to eight hours in urban areas and eight to 12 hours in rural areas on Sunday alone. On Monday, the situation improved and loadshedding came down to four to six hours in urban and six to eight hours in rural areas of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Nankana, Kasur and Okara. Nature also added problems to the power problem when a windstorm with light shower hit the area leaving 250 feeders, including over 70 in Lahore alone, tripped. This plunged many areas in darkness for hours.

Lesco gradually restored the feeders in all areas, including those in Kasur and Shiekhpura areas, where its teams are not well equipped, the official said.

He said like other distribution companies, Lesco too was facing low allocation after two plants of Hubco broke down on Sunday. Similarly, the tripping of 500kV Jamshoro transmission line disturbed the power distribution system in Sindh and some parts of Balochistan.

“The same situation also impacted the supplies from the south to northern parts. And due to this, a number of Multan Electric Power Company areas were without electricity late on Sunday,” the Lesco official explained.

He said at present, Lesco was being supplied electricity from north.

About a three to four breakdown in Lahore’s several areas on Sunday evening, the official said it happened after a 40MVA transformer installed at 132kV grid station went out of order. “So we shifted the load of this transformer to the other one and restored the electricity supply while the transformer has been dispatched for repair or replacement,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2017