Sindh demands setting up of commission to probe power outage

Published January 11, 2021
A VIEW of the city’s central area during midnight nationwide power breakdown that prolonged into Sunday morning.—AFP
A VIEW of the city’s central area during midnight nationwide power breakdown that prolonged into Sunday morning.—AFP

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Sunday demanded formation of an inquiry commission with representation of provinces to ascertain the cause of the electricity breakdown that plunged the entire country into darkness for several hours.

Provincial Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh demanded setting up of an inquiry commission and removal of the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) chief, saying that hours-long nationwide power breakdown was the result of incompetence and failure of federal ministers.

Talking to Dawn, he said that an inquiry commission with representation of provinces should be formed immediately to determine the elements responsible for the nationwide breakdown.

Mr Shaikh said that the country had incurred losses of billions of rupees due to the nationwide power outage.

He said the provinces did not have representation in the NTDC.

The energy minister said that despite repeated requests from the Sindh government over the last two and a half years, the prime minister and the federal energy ministry were not ready to implement reforms in the transmission system. “This is why the whole country is in darkness today,” he added.

Mr Shaikh said that the federal ministers were trying to cover up their failures by criticising previous governments.

“In principle, the federal minister for energy should admit his incompetence and failure and announce his resignation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sindh Irrigation Minister Ismail Rahu said that the inefficiency of the federal government could be gauged from the fact that it could not ascertain the cause of outage even after several hours of the breakdown.

In a statement, he said that the power outage piled miseries on thousands of patients at government hospitals across the province.

KE response

A Karachi Electric (KE) spokesperson said on Saturday that the countrywide power breakdown on account of national grid outage cascaded onto the network of the power utility and affected Karachi’s power supply as well.

“Since 12am last night, KE teams have been working to restore power rapidly to affected parts,” he said, adding that KE’s transmission and distribution networks were swiftly restored along with generation from the Bin Qasim power plant and IPPs.

He said that by late evening, supplies from the national grid were also resumed through existing interconnection points with K-Electric. “Most parts of Karachi have been energised already, while teams are available to address any individual customer complaints received at its ‘118’ call centre so that KE achieves its vision of bringing Karachi to a power surplus situation by the year 2022,” the spokesperson added.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2021

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