Cities and towns and rural areas across the country faced up to six hours of loadshedding, despite closure of public and private businesses on Sunday. The power shortfall rose to 2,100MW because of suspension of 350MW supply from two 220KV Guddo-Sibbi and Uch-Sibbi towers and transmission lines which were reportedly damaged in a terrorist attack.
But a spokesman for the National Transmission and Dispatch Company said the transmission lines and towers had been damaged by a windstorm, and not by terrorists. It caused disruption in power supply to large areas. According to him, all power distribution companies (Discos) carried out four to six hours of load shedding because of 2,100MW shortfall in the system. “On Sunday, the total generation stood at 11,200MW — 4,200MW contributed by hydel, 1,480MW by thermal and 5,460MW by independent power producers (IPPs). Since the total power demand was 13,300MW, Discos had to carry out four to six hours of load shedding in urban and rural areas to meet the 2,100MW shortfall, the spokesman explained.
He said repair of the damaged towers and transmission line was under way and they would soon be functional. People in major cities and towns have been enduring several hours of outages after a short-lived respite between May 10 and 13. “The zero load shedding witnessed in those days was not less than a miracle for us since we had it after a long time. We had slept well and remained fresh,” Imdad, a resident of Garden Town in Lahore, Meanwhile, talking to APP, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali claimed that the government was proactively executing diverse programmed to overcome the energy crisis. He said the crisis was because of years of neglect, ill-planning and mismanagement.
After coming to power in June last year, he added, the government had faced multiple problems such as 12 to 18 hours of load shedding, IPPs and Gencos (generation companies) running under-capacity (50 per cent to 70pc), circular debt of over Rs480 billion, a yawning gap between supply and demand (up to 4,000MW) and a “terribly inefficient” power transmission and distribution system. The minister said the present government had taken a number of measures to resolve these issues, including successful initiation and implementation of the National Power Policy 2013, clearance of Rs480 billion circular debt, bringing additional 1,700MW to the national grid, improvement in demand and supply side management and development of cheap energy resources to achieve optimum results through short-, mid- and long-term projects. -dawn