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LAHORE: The overloaded National Transmission and Despatch Company’s 220kV and 500kV grids and transmission lines continue to massively disrupt the 132kV distribution system, leaving major power distribution companies (Discos), including the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) with no option but to observe forced outages during the peak hours in addition to routine loadshedding on a daily basis.

The situation is worsening in Lahore where both the consumers and Lesco are bearing the brunt of the overloaded system as well as the hot and humid weather.

“We are facing various issues related to electricity these days. Sometimes, it suddenly disappears for half an hour or an hour without any schedule while we also see loadshedding during specific hours. Tripping, low/high voltage and fluctuation are among the other problems we are facing these days,” said a consumer.

The 220 and 500kV system is presently disturbing the 132kV distribution system of Lesco, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco). Whenever it becomes overloaded, it exerts severe pressure on the distribution system, forcing Discos to shed the load in a bid to reduce the burden and protect the system from a major collapse or breakdown, according to sources.

“You cannot imagine how we are managing the situation these days as whenever the upper system (220/500kV) appears to be uploaded, it transfers load to the lower system (132kV grids and transmission lines). So, in this situation, the only option left with us is to shed the load by temporary suspending electricity supply operations from the 132kV grids,” explained a Lesco official.

He said various 220kV grids become overloaded owing to a lack of upgrade. The 220kV Kot Lakhpat and Ghazi and other grids require replacement of the old transformers with new ones or addition of the new transformers.

“Similarly, 500kV Sheikhupura, 220kV Kala Shah Kaku, Rawat (Islamabad) and Gatti (Faisalabad) grid stations require major upgradation works. Therefore, the government must focus on the upgradation of all such grids and transmission lines on a priority basis if it wants smooth supply of electricity to the consumers through 132kV power distribution grids ,” the official claimed.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2018