THE country has not recovered fully from the shocks it received due to the total country-wide power breakdown that plunged Pakistan into darkness on Saturday night as in most of the areas electricity disappears frequently in a day. This is indicative of serious security and technical flaws in the national grid and puts question marks on reliability of the professional manpower of the power companies.
Though the government is deriving solace from the fact that a similar breakdown in 2015 (attributed to sabotage activity) plunged around 80% of the country into darkness but this is absolutely no justification to offer. It is also ironic that technical solutions proposed and implemented to some extent after the previous bitter experience proved untrustworthy due to lack of proper vigilance, maintenance and upgradation. It is also true that system improvement and upgradation is not a one time job and it was the duty of the technical staff to plan and cater for substantial additions to the national grid due to completion of a number of power stations. The country and its people would not benefit from abundant availability of power if the system remains vulnerable to large-scale faults and necessary investment is not made on transmission and distribution networks on a priority basis. We have been emphasizing in these columns that consumers suffer hugely due to fluctuation in voltage that damages their electronic gadgets besides delays in completion of office and home-related responsibilities. The latest power breakdown was also serious because it put at risk the lives of hundreds of Corona and other patients who were on ventilators in different medical facilities. An inquiry has been instituted and some officials suspended but all this would be a lip-service if weaknesses pinpointed and recommendations made by the investigators are not implemented.