Monday, January 26, 2015

Attack in Balochistan blamed for countrywide electricity blackout

*Secretary says power supply to most parts of country restored while situation will be fully normalised by today

By Ahmad Ahmadani

January 26, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Water and Power secretary declared on Sunday that power supply would be normalised by Monday (today).

The country suffered massive blackout due to an attack in Balochistan on Saturday night when guerrillas destroyed two power supply towers at Ucch-Sibi transmission line. “It might take a while to fix the damaged system, but hopefully we will be able to control the situation by morning,” he said. “We have restored the Guddu Power Plant and have also started generation from Tarbela.” Muhammad Younus Dagha stated this during a press conference, which was held here in the premises of the Power Ministry on Sunday.

He announced that the power supply has been restored and the situation will be completely normalised by Monday. Also, the new load shedding plan will be implemented from today under which “relief” will be provided to the consumers. “Under the new plan there will be four hours load shedding for industrial sector while six hours for urban population and eight hours for rural consumers,” he said, adding that seven thousand five hundred megawatt electricity has been injected in the system while more power will be added in the system by tomorrow (Monday) that will further improve the situation.

Talking about the Saturday night blackout that plunged the entire country into darkness, Muhammad Younus said that the incidents of damaging the power supply has been continuing from the last twelve days. He said the security mechanism is being strengthened to ward off such happenings in the future. The secretary said the insurgents also blew up a gas pipeline in Balochistan on Friday last which resulted in a heavy breakdown. 

However, he said the OGDCL has been able to repair the pipeline on emergency basis thus restoring power supply to national grid. The damage to the 220kVA transmission lines between Sibi and Quetta caused a backward surge of power to the Guddu Power Plant in Sindh, which in turn caused a cascading effect on the entire national grid, said the water and power secretary.

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