Anti-load shedding strategy

THE surge in power outages these days and its causes, consequences and the point of view of the officials concerned clearly show that either there is lack of comprehension and understanding of the issues involved or the government is deliberately misleading the people by issuing false and wrong statements. This has been happening since tripping of a number of high power transmission lines and grid stations in Punjab which necessitated up to twelve hours of load shedding.
In this backdrop, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi needs to take personal interest in the issue as he remained Petroleum Minister, having deep linkages with energy problem, for the last four years. The meeting he convened on Tuesday to discuss the issue was informed that the latest increase in power shortages was caused by decrease in hydel power generation, reduction in supply of gas to power plants and most importantly the persistent smog that leads to tripping of the transmission lines and grid stations. But there is something fishy in these explanations like the original one when official statement attributed the shortage mainly to closure of four nuclear power plants after tripping of the system. Later, PAEC clarified that closure of its plants has nothing to do with tripping. One also fails to understand prolonged outages due to tripping as re-commissioning does not involve complicated and long procedures. It is also strange that at a time when the country was facing power shut downs of longer duration, the Ministry decided to close, at once, all inefficient/old diesel and furnace oil run power plants. The Prime Minister may look deeper into all these issues, seek explanation from officials concerned and ensure that unnecessary and uncalled for outages are prevented. At the same time, dispatch of experts of NTDC to China to study Beijing Model of smog prevention, is a step in the right direction. We hope the system would be replicated in Pakistan soon as, according to weather experts, the current pattern of weather is likely to persist for decades.

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