Karachi faces massive power shortfall

Published September 15, 2008

KARACHI, Sept 14: Prolonged power outages triggered by the tripping in one of the high-tension circuits and shortage of about 700MW caused by reduction in generation by the KESC sparked power riots in several areas of Karachi on Sunday.

According to sources, the problem of prolonged disruption in supplies was the result of alleged theft of a conductor of the EHT circuit between Baloch Colony and Lines Area.

The problem of the massive shortfall was a week-old one but the utility failed to solve it because the management was trying to save money on furnace oil and was operating its plants at much below their capacity. They also did not get supplies from two IPPs — Gul Ahmad and Tapal. And the government also did nothing to address the problem.

People aware of the problem stressed the need for immediate government intervention and severe corrective measures.

Vast areas of Karachi were without electricity for more than eight hours during the day as the utility tried unsuccessfully to keep the overloaded distribution system going.

Agencies add: Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad has taken notice of the power crisis in Karachi and contacted Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf.

He had a detailed discussion with the minister and conveyed to him the concerns of the people of Karachi. He called for supply of more electricity by Wapda to the KESC.

The minister assured the governor that the water and power secretary would be in Karachi on Monday and take steps to improve the situation.

Many other towns of Sindh have also been hit by power outages.

Protests were held on Sunday in Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur, Naushehro Feroz, Garhi Yaseen, Khairpur, Badin, Kot Ghulam Mohammad, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas.

Loadshedding has crippled business activities in Nooriabad and Kotri industrial areas, and affected small industrial units in Shikarpur, Sukkur and Hyderabad.

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