Huge power breakdown cripples life in KP, Punjab

ISLAMABAD: A major breakdown crippled the power system in almost entire Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and some parts of Sindh and Balochistan for almost eight hours on Wednesday, days before the PML-N government completes its five-year tenure riding on the energy sector’s turnaround story.

The technical fault occurred around usual North-South corridor near the Guddu-Muzaffargarh transmission network at around 9.28am and forced the closure of almost all the power plants in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Kashmir in a cascading manner within five seconds.

This happened at a time when the entire national grid was being run on an ad hoc basis and no technical hand was at the top to independently take steps for crisis management. The power division initially attributed tripping around ‘Tarbela due to which the cascade travelled’, forcing the system from Tarbela to Guddu to go down.

The position was later changed when challenged by authorities at the Water and Power Development Authority who said there was no issue at the Tarbela station which was producing more than 2,200MW of electricity when “tripped along other power houses due to technical fault in the national grid”.

Published in Dawn, 17th May, 2018