Intriguing blackout

MOST parts of Punjab, KP and Azad Kashmir as well as Islamabad witnessed worst kind of blackout caused by un-understandable tripping of plants and main transmission lines. A Power Division spokesperson said the breakdown was caused at the Guddu-Muzaffargarh power line, the tripping of which created faults at the Tarbela and Guddu power stations as well as other power plants. The tripping of the transmission line also caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well.
Relevant officials, no doubt, made hectic efforts to restore power as suspension of power for almost entire day not only created enormous problems for the people but also resulted into huge financial and economic losses besides halt in daily routine and work on developmental projects. As usual, an inquiry has been ordered and the four-member team headed by Additional Secretary of the Ministry and three experts would identify causes, review measures taken for restoration of electricity and make recommendations to avoid such a situation in future. But all this seems to be mere eyewash if viewed in the backdrop of similar power failures in the past. Every time, inquiries were ordered and commitment was made to take necessary preventive measures but so far it has not happened, which speaks volumes about inefficiency of the relevant authorities. Frequent tripping of the system is not comprehendible and there are reasons to believe that something is fishy. Commentators argued that some elements might be deliberately stoking trouble to discredit the incumbent government in its last days. Reduction of load-shedding was, no doubt, a major achievement of the PML (N) government but blackouts and outages are blurring this success ahead of general election. Tripping of the system on the onset of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak is all the more regrettable as the government had made firm commitments that there would be no load-shedding at least during Iftar and Sehr. Ironically, tripping took place in northern system the areas of which received widespread rains leading to fall in temperature and there was not much load on the system. If the system is really so fragile then it should be a source for concern for the country and maximum attention and resources should be diverted for its replacement and upgradation. Otherwise, there is no point in generating more electricity when the system is unable to sustain even the existing load.

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