HYDERABAD: The entire lower Sindh region was hit by a massive power breakdown when a fire broke out and a technical fault developed in the transmission system on Tuesday.
The fire erupted in the 500kV grid station of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) located along Indus Highway, at a small distance from Jamshoro Thermal Power House, in the early hours of Tuesday.
Electric supply to one of the systems was restored by 6.45pm, according to the NTDC. No loss of life was reported in the fire incident.
The fire was brought under control with NTDC’s firefighting system.
A massive flash of fire was noticed in the sky which was visible from even Latifabad flyover that had kept turning the sky blue and green with short intervals. People were seen taking photos with their mobile phones in many areas.
An explosion-sort of sound was heard as well. A section of the Indus Highway remained blocked due to falling of conductors on road.
Jamshoro Deputy Commissioner Farid Mustafa visited the spot after the incident.
“No major damage took place,” claimed an NTDC spokesman from Lahore over phone on Tuesday evening. “It was a technical fault that led to the fire in the grid station’s yard,” said the company’s public relations officer without explaining nature of the technical fault that occurred and subsequently led to the fire.
According to him, Jamshoro-Rajputana and Jamshoro-Qasimabad 132kV system of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) was affected due to the power breakdown. Both were re-energised at 6.45pm and 11.40am, respectively, he said.
He said the 132kV lines that were damaged and fell on the Indus Highway were being repaired by Hesco, and added that half of the work had already been done and the remaining half was under way.
Quoting grid station officials, he said that line isolators of Jamshoro-Rajputana and Jamshoro-Qasimabad systems were replaced.
He said that major damage to equipment was not caused. He claimed that power supply to the national grid and to Karachi remained uninterrupted.
The fire that broke out at around 1.36am mainly affected downstream electric supply system of Hesco. A Hesco spokesman, Sadiq Kubar, confirmed that massive power breakdown took place and rendered the entire lower region of Sindh without power.
Hesco staff kept working till the evening to ensure restoration of power supply in various districts.
Hesco had first claimed that its 66 grid stations, in all, were without power supply after JMS-I (Jamshoro-Qasimabad) and JMS-II (Jamshoro-Rajputana) grid stations remained without electricity feed as these were connected with the 132kV electric supply system hooked to the 500kV grid station. Besides, the 220kV Hala Naka and 220kV NTPS Tando Mohammad Khan grid stations of NTDC were also affected due to the incident.
Hala Naka grid supplies electricity to areas of Matiari, Mirpurkhas, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad and other districts whereas NTPS grid feeds Tando Mohammad Khan, Badin and Thatta districts.
Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2020