Major parts of Sindh and Balochistan on Sunday plunged into darkness following tripping of a national grid’s transmission line. According to details, the National Transmission and Dispatch Company’s (NTDC) 500KV transmission line from Guddu to Dadu tripped due to heavy fog in the early hours of Sunday, causing a sudden massive power breakdown in various parts of Sindh, including Karachi and Balochistan.
Power transmission was abruptly suspended causing power shutdown in various parts of metropolis including Defence, Sharea Faisal, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Nursery, Pechs, Korangi Industrial Area (KIA), New Karachi, Clifton, Landhi, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lyari, Federal B’ Area, Liaquatabad and several other localities of the metropolis.
The hour-long power suspension not only irked common man, but also created difficulties for the employees of different organisations and important installations, including airport, hospitals and police department. The prolonged power suspension also affected the city’s water supply as pumping of water to many localities came to an abrupt halt following tripping of the transmission line.
A spokesperson for K-E said, “The sudden disruption of supply from the NTDC tripped the entire system of power utility/generation companies of Karachi and Sindh. This had a domino effect, leading to a series of power outages in grids, supplying power to the city. Though our priority in such a situation was to restore our link with the NTDC, it was not possible due to the heavy fog. As such, KE immediately went into stand “Island Mode” – isolating the NTDC on a temporary and limited basis – to restore power to the city.
“Our engineers worked diligently to power up key installations eg priority health services, PAF Base, and the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, along with some other key defence establishments, and were able to do so progressively within the first two hours of this breakdown,” he claimed. He said that NTDC power transmission to Karachi was back on-line at around 2pm and power utility had managed to restore around 60 per cent of the city’s feeders. “KE’s engineers worked with remarkable effectiveness to synchronise KE’s system with NTDC with zero disruption.
“The inclement weather in winter in the form of dense fog in tandem with low ambient temperatures adversely affects the NTDC system in the country, which is the major cause of such nationwide power breakdowns that the power consumers faced in the recent past. “While we apologise to our consumers for the inconvenience caused by such breakdowns but we assure them that K-E, makes every effort to serve them with professional zeal and commitment,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources told Business Recorder that the power utility has not been able to introduce a protective system of power balancing to avoid damage to transmission lines. It has been our experience that whenever the transmission lines of national grid power get tripped, the K-E’s generation and transmission system comes to a halt within no time. The service provider should install protective gadgets in its feeders to protect them from tripping in case of overloading, over heating and frequency vitiation,” they suggested.
Recalling that KE’s feeders/transmission lines had tripped four times since June 2014, the sources said that the city witnessed electricity breakdowns in the first week of last June when power transmission was suspended from 12 grid stations owing to tripping of Bin Qasim Thermal Power and as result of which many areas in the city had remained without electricity for about two hours.
The second power failure of couple of hours had also occurred when 220Kv underground transmission line near Qayumabad was damaged and as result of which various parts of the city, including Defence, Clifton, Pechs, Garden, Korangi West, Jacoblines, Qayumabad, Gizri, Lyari, West Wharf and Queens Road were subjected to hour-long load-shedding, the sources added. They opined that frequent tripping of transmission lines indicated that the KE management was apparently not willing to improve its technical system.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT