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LAHORE: Around 300 electrical feeders in the provincial metropolis and other service areas of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) are being run with the immense load of 300 to over 400 amperes, causing tripping, low voltage, fluctuation and forced outages besides damaging the state-owned electrical equipment and the consumers’ home appliances.

The situation is worsening gradually as the number of overloaded feeders may increase to over 400 in the coming days, especially with the increase in humidity as a result of rains, Dawn has learnt.

According to standard capacity and design, a feeder shouldn’t be run with the load of over 250 ampere. But with the increase in load, the authorities concerned didn’t upgrade the system in the past which has resulted in the sufferings of the consumers.

“A survey conducted some months ago showed the number of feeders being run over 400 amperes as 118. Of these, we reduced load of 100 by adding new grid stations of 132kV, enhancing capacity of 66kV grid stations to 132kV and installing new transformers. The work on the remaining 18 feeder is under way and soon their load would be brought down to below 300 amperes,” Lesco Chief Executive Officer Syed Wajid Ali Kazmi told Dawn on Thursday.

Besides this, there are about 120 other feeders identified as being run at 350 to 400 amperes while another 100 to 150 feeders have entered the list of bearing 300 to 350 amperes due to the increasing load.

“The situation will be more problematic during the upcoming humid weather when the number of overloaded feeders would cross the figure of 400,” Mr Kazmi explained.

To overcome the system constraints’ crisis, he added, a plan was chalked out under which 132kV Saggian gas-insulated substation (GIS) grid had been completed and made operational. Eleven feeders’ load had been shifted to Saggian in a bid to reduce burden on the grid where they were already connected and about 12 more feeders’ load would also be shifted to this Saggian GIS grid, he said and added that Journalists’ Colony grid had also been made operational and 15 overloaded feeders would be shifted to that station. The General Hospital grid was also made operational on Thursday and there was a plan to shift over 10 feeders to it.

“The 66kV Kanganpur (Kasur) and Mohlanwal (Lahore) grids have been upgraded to 132kV and we will also shift load of many feeders to them from the overloaded feeders.

“The Baseerpur (Kasur) 66kV grid is also being upgraded to 132kV after which the load of feeders in Mandi Ahmadabad where the people are receiving only 80 volts instead of 220 will be shifted to Baseerpur grid. And after completion of Ahmadabad’s 132kV grid, these feeders would be linked with the new grid.”

Mr Kazmi said in next four to five days, two new 132kV grid stations (DHA Rahbar and Paragon) would be added to the system, giving relief to various grid stations and feeders in those areas.

While comparing Lesco with the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), the Lesco CEO claimed that not a single feeder in Iesco service areas was being run with the load of over 250 ampere.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2017