LAHORE: Various parts of Lahore and its adjoining areas continued facing forced outages and brownouts, leaving citizens without light for hours in the ongoing spell of inclement weather.

The situation worsened during the last four days, as 132kV distribution and 220/500kV transmission systems of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) appeared to be overloaded either due to technical faults, increased load or other system constraints. This led to tripping of various transmission lines and grid stations, suspending smooth supply of electricity to consumers.

“For the last four days, we are really in trouble. Some time, there is tripping or absence of light for three to four hours. Whenever we checked, the officials at complaint office didn’t explain the situation well,” deplored a resident of Township.

Various consumers in Johar Town, Batapur, Bedian Road, Wapda Town, Raiwind Road, Multan Road and Canal Road also complained about loadshedding and erratic power supply.

“For the last many days, we have been facing loadshedding for four to five hours besides tripping and power fluctuation in our area. Though we pay bill regularly, no one is paying heed to resolve this issue,” says a consumer from the Batapur area.

A consumer of Barki Road also complained, claiming that he didn’t see such a situation before.

“As there is no issue related to power shortage or system upgrade, why this is happening now? Two days before, there was no light in our area in Paragon Society for many hours. When we checked, our society officials said the fault exists on the part of Lesco,” he told this reporter.

On the other hand, Lesco and NTDC put responsibility of the situation on each other.

When contacted, a Lesco spokesman said there were some technical issues with the 220kV Kot Lakhpat grid station and another operated by the NTDC.

“Due to this, various 132kV grid stations tripped, leaving us with no option but to start observing load management to relieve the overloaded grids of the additional burden. It all happened during the last two days, as the power supply remained smooth on Saturday across the Lahore,” he said.

He claimed that there is no load shedding in Lahore, as some areas that come under service jurisdiction of high loss feeders (category 5 and 6) are facing scheduled load shedding for three to four hours daily. “Since there is no shortfall, Lesco is drawing its allocated quota of 4,000MW or so these days as per its demand.”

On the other hand, an NTDC chief engineer dispelled the impression stating that there was no issue with the NTDC’s 220 or 500kV power transmission system. “All was going well. But suddenly our 220kV / 500kV system became overloaded due to some problems in the Lesco’s 132kV system. “This led to tripping of our 220kV grid station at Kot Lakhpat. Thus the light remained off in various areas,” he added.

Moreover, an NTDC spokesman said the NTDC’s 220kV Bund Road grid station remained on a scheduled outages due to some repair for two hours on Friday.

“It caused deletion of 70MW electricity from the system due to which a load management plan was followed.”

He said another NTDC grid (Ghazi-New Lahore) also developed a fault, making 90MW electricity out of the system on July 2. However, the fault was removed the same day, he added.

“But the system, now, is working well as we didn’t receive any compliant on Saturday.”

On the other hand, as many as 170 feeders in the city tripped due to windstorm on Saturday, disrupting power supply to many areas, according to a press release issued by Lesco.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2020