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Pakistan struggles as power crisis hits, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore face massive power outages after grid failure amid cost-cutting

Speaking to Geo News, Powe Minister Khurrum Dastagir said that the power generation units were shut down temporarily to save fuel costs.

On Monday, January 23, all cities in Pakistan experienced a power breakdown. As per reports, the countrywide power breakdown happened because of the decrease in frequency at the national grid. The Ministry of energy, in a tweet, said, “According to initial reports, the system frequency of the National Grid decreased at 7:34 this morning, which resulted in a widespread breakdown in the power system.”

Speaking to Geo News, Powe Minister Khurrum Dastagir said that the power generation units were shut down temporarily to save fuel costs. He said, “When the systems were turned on at 7:30 AM this morning one by one, frequency variation was reported in the southern part of the country between Jamshoro and Dadu. There was a fluctuation in voltage, and the systems were shut down one by one. This is not a major crisis.”

The Ministry reportedly started restoring some grid stations in Warsak and Tarbela. He added, “Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) and some grids of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) have already been restored.”‘

The power restoration in Karachi will apparently take time because of the complicated system. He said, “We provide K-Electric about 1,000-1,100 megawatts routinely, however, it will be restored within a few hours. It is not certain how long it will take to sort this issue. However, my target is to restore electricity in the country in the next 12 hours.” As per CNN, around 220 million people in Pakistan are currently without electricity.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered all the federal departments to reduce power consumption. Restaurants in the country were ordered to close by 10:30 PM and shopping centres were asked to close by 8:30 PM, putting already struggling businesses in a financially precarious position.

This is the second time Pakistan has seen such a massive power outage in the last three months. In October 2022, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Karachi, Multan, Quetta, and Faisalabad saw a major power outage as eight thousand megawatts went offline. However, that power outage was due to power line faults. Contrary to the previous incident, the current power outage was done to save fuel costs.

In a statement, Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) said that the two transmission lines from Guddu to Quetta tripped, putting 22 districts of Balochistan in the dark. Islamabad’s 117 grid stations are also without electricity.

K-Electric spokesperson Imran Rana said in a statement that the company is investigating the issue and will update the situation. His statement came before Ministry’s statement clarifying the reason behind the power outage.

Notably, Pakistan is facing a major economic crisis. The country is facing fuel and food shortages. Following the floods in 2022, the already broken economy deteriorated amidst the political turmoil, further pushing Pakistan into a difficult position.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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