KARACHI: Power breakdown plunges vast area into darkness

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KARACHI: Power breakdown plunges vast area into darkness

By Our Reporter

KARACHI, April 7: Electricity supply to a vast area of the city remained affected on Thursday-Friday owing to tripping of the heavily-overloaded KESC distribution system.

It is a paradox that power failures have become frequent after the KESC chairman promised a load-shedding-free summer to Karachiites this year. A major power breakdown had plunged vast areas of the city into darkness shortly after midnight owing to tripping in the 132 KV KDA-Gulshan-i-Iqbal circuits I & II.

It affected power supply to consumers connected with Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Civic Centre and Liaquatabad grid stations. Gulistan-i-Jauhar, parts of Gulshan-i- Iqbal, Sabzi Mandi, Liaquatabad, Al-Hilal Society, Jail Road, Golimar and Federal B- Area suffered the most. It took the KESC engineers more than an hour to re-activate the Circuit-I to which the entire load of Circuit II was also transferred. Claiming that the breakdown was caused by conductor theft in Circuit-II, the KESC said it was being replaced.

A housewife from Bahria Phase-V complained that ever since the KESC chairman made the categorical statement that there would be no load-shedding, the problem had suddenly aggravated.

The KESC spokesman said that power supply to the area was affected owing to closure of the Qatar Consulate PMT for reinforcement. The work also affected two more PMTs, he said, without giving any explanation for the frequent power failures almost everyday. Due to power breakdown water supply in many areas remained affected as pumping stations could not operate. Power breakdown has also become almost a daily affair for the residents of Defence Phase-V Extension.

More power breakdowns has been predicted this year because of the heavily overloaded feeders and distribution network. Power breakdown is becoming increasingly frequent in spite of the KESC's claim of carrying out proper maintenance of the transmission and distribution system.

Distribution losses of the KESC were in the range of 38.64 per cent, with the management claiming it would be restricted to 30 per cent during the current financial year. As the heat is becoming unbearable, an increasing number of kundas (illegal connections) are being hooked on the overloaded distribution system.

When the new management of the KESC took over the transmission and distribution system was heavily overloaded and it was the main cause of power the daily power breakdowns. The army-led management had promised to overcome this problem and to some extent had even succeeded in it. But with the onset of summer the lack of proper maintenance became evident.

With an increasing number of electrical appliances in use on the overloaded system, breakdowns are likely to be more frequent because the KESC has not given due consideration to load distribution.


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-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 08, 2000

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