Power supply still not fully restored across Pakistan
Several Karachi and many rural areas are still without electricity: K-Electric says power supply is being restored gradually: 12-hour outages due to 900MW power shortfall in Lahore
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Power was returning gradually but slowly to most cities across Pakistan on Tuesday, a day after a nationwide breakdown left the whole country without electricity.
Electricity largely returned to mega cities of Karachi and Lahore overnight, but with localised and brief falls in connection continuing.
Karachi, the commercial hub of the country, could not fully come out of the darkness even 24 hours of the breakdown, as most areas of the megacity were without electricity.
K-Electric spokesman said the power supply from the national grid was improving and restoration of electricity to different areas was moving smoothly.
Buffer Zone, Shadman, North Karachi, Sarjani Town, Orangi Town, Landhi Sherpao, Gulshan Hadeed, Quaidabad, Korangi, Malir, Jaffar Tayyar, Lyari, Kemari, Old City Area, Saddar and Orangi Town were still without power since Monday morning.
Power supply has so far been restored in Gulistan Jauhar, Gulshan, Clifton, Baldia, Airport, Azizabad, Civic Centre, Defence, Gizri, Qayyumabad, Queens Road and FB Area.
The spokesman said restoring power to strategic facilities was the priority. “We are in constant contact with the NDTC officials for full supply of electricity from the national grid,” he added.
Lahoriites facing power cuts up to 12 hours
Power could not be restored fully from the national grid on Tuesday as Lahoriites were facing scheduled and unscheduled loadshedding upto 12 hours in some areas of the city, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Lahore Electric Power Supply Company (Lesco) is facing a power shortfall of 900 megawatts. The Lesco needs 2550 megawatts power whereas it is being supplied only 1650 megawatts of electricity, thereby creating a demand-supply of 900 megawatts.
Due to a big difference between demand and supply, Lesco is forced to manage the power load for an hour after every hour. Also, some areas of the city were facing unannounced power cuts.
A massive breakdown in the national grid on Monday had triggered the worst electricity outage across the length and breadth of the country in months, paralysing routine life, besides highlighting weak infrastructure of the heavily indebted nation.
The country has witnessed partial blackouts several times in the past. But this may be the first historical breakdown that affected the entire country and ran for several hours without remedy.
The nationwide outage started around 7:30 am on Monday, a failure linked to a cost-cutting measure as the country grapples with an economic crisis.
Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said on Monday evening that power was being gradually restored.
Electricity largely returned to mega cities Karachi and Lahore overnight, but with localised and brief falls in connection continuing. Islamabad and other cities, including Rawalpindi, Quetta, Peshawar and Gujranwala, also reported that the lights were back on.
However, some rural areas were still waiting to be reconnected.
The country’s power system is a complex and delicate web, where problems can quickly cascade.
Dastgir said a variation in frequency on the national grid caused the cut, as power generation units were turned on early Monday morning.
The units are temporarily switched off on winter nights to save fuel, he had told reporters earlier.
Localised power cuts are common in Pakistan, and hospitals, factories and government institutions are often kept running by private generators. But the machines are beyond the means of most citizens and small businesses.
In parts of northern Pakistan, temperatures were due to drop below freezing overnight with supplies of natural gas -- the most common heating method -- also unreliable due to load-shedding.
Mobile phone services were also disrupted as a result of the outage, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority tweeted.
A similar breakdown in January 2021 affected the entire country, after a fault occurred in southern Pakistan, tripping the national transmission system.
Reporters Habib Khan and Shahid Sipra/Agencies