Rolling power outages as sweltering heat grips country, sparks protests
Electricity shortfall stands at 3,500MW: Power plants supplied with fuel: Tarbela Dam to start generating electricity within two days
People stage protest against electricity loadshedding in Quetta.
The long-duration power outages continued to hit the country amid extremely hot weather conditions, leaving people at the mercy of pitiless heatwave and triggering protests in many cities, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Thursday.
The long-hours loadshedding triggered protest demonstrations in several cities as hundreds of people came out on the streets against the power outages in a number of cities including Quetta and Sukkur.
The settlers staged a sit-in and blocked Rohri Saleh Pat Link Road in Sukkur. The protesters claimed that Sepco’s injustices were trying their patience. They said that the power company was supplying electricity only for six hours to their area. They bemoaned that due to loadshedding there was no water in the channels leaving their crops dried up.
A view of the protest in Sukkur.
Angry people came out to protest against the electricity closure in Satellite Town, Sarki Road and Pashtoon Abad in Quetta.
They staged a protest in front of Qesco office in Satellite Town area. They raised slogans against the Qesco officials. They blocked the roads by burning tyres. They said that Qesco had increased the loadshedding hours, adding that the water shortage problem also surfaced when the electricity was gone.
Unannounced loadshedding also continued in different areas of Lahore and other cities throughout the day and night. In a temperature of 43 Celsius in Lahore, many people were hit by heatstroke. Lesco’s Fateh Garh grid station went out of order due to a technical fault, leaving all feeders overloaded.
The power supply from Amir Town, Haider Karar and Eidgah feeders was suspended. Sources said supply was halted due to a technical fault in high tension cables. Yesterday power supply was stopped for 12 hours when cables went out of order.
Sources said that faults were being developed due to overloading on feeders. All feeders in Fateh Garh are facing a load of over 400 amperes. The XEN Moghalpura said that cables were being tested and soon the power supply would be restored.
In some areas the power outages were of hours long. In Lakhshami Chowk, Bidon Road, Sabzazar, Marghazar Colony, Al Hafiz Town, Awan Town, Town Ship, Raiwind, Amir Town, Harbans Pura, Taj Bagh and other areas were hit by loadsheddibng.
Apart from Lahore, almost all cities in Punjab are facing undeclared loadshedding. Narowal city was hit by power outage after every hour. In city areas, 12 hours long loadshedding is continued whereas the duration in rural areas is 16 hours.
Youth take a slide at a pool in a bid beat the heat.
In Kharian in Upper Punjab, citizens and trader community staged a protest. They blocked GT Road in front of Model Bazar causing a traffic snarl in the area. The commuters were stuck in the traffic for hours in severe heat. The protesters said that on their persistent demands, Wapda replaced their locality’s faulty transformers four days ago, but it still was not supplying power to their area.
In Karachi where temperature is touching 37C, the weather condition is hot and humid. The state of power supply is pathetic in the City of Quaid. The social media account of the K-Electric is brimming with citizens’ complaints. Even the exempted areas are also witnessing the power outages. The K-Electric said that it was supplying 3,000MW electricity to the city.
These are the areas where power outages are hitting hard: There was no electricity in Gulshan Iqbal from 5am to 6am. In Jubilee area, power has been out since 5am. No power in Civil Lines for two hours and in Orangi Town Sector 14, there was 3-hour long power breakdown.
According to K-Electric sources, a loadshedding of 7 ½ duration is being carried out in the areas which are showing great line losses.
According to sources in power division, the electricity shortfall is 3,500 megawatt. The total production of electricity is 21,200MW while demand is 25,000MW. 4,000MW power is being generated through hydropower sources while government-owned thermal power plant is producing 3,200MW electricity.
The private sector is contributing 14,000MW electricity whereas loadshedding up to 6 hours is being carried out across the country.
Sources said that power plants had been supplied with fuel and thermal power house were supplied with 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) gas.
They said that 7 shut units of Tarbela Dam would start generating electricity within two days. They further informed that 3,000MW went out of the production as Tunnels 4 and 5 of Tarbela Dam were not producing electricity due to construction work.
Reporters Shahid Sipra, Habib Khan, Imdad and Rizwan Saeed