Massive power breakdown hits Punjab, KP

A massive power breakdown hit major parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Saturday due to sudden technical flaw in Tarbella and Ghazi Brotha power houses, which according to sources, was due to low generation frequency. Power breakdown occurred soon after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced reduction in power tariff by Rs 2.32 per unit at a press conference in Peshawar.

Electricity supply suddenly suspended at about 12;40 pm on Friday in Islamabad including Pak Secretariat, Lahore, Jhelum, Gujrat, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, and other cities and towns across Punjab and Azad Kashmir because of a major fault in Mangla Power House. Southern Punjab, Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Haripur and Attock were also affected by the breakdown. Many thermal power plants have to be closed due to technicalities of the huge breakdown.

The sources said that generation frequency should be around 48-49 percent for ‘ensured generation,’ but when it drops from the threshold it creates cascading effect on the power house. According to sources, Mangla Power House tripped at about 12:40 and its tripping affected 500 KV and 220 KV transmission line. However, power supply resumed on 220 KV transmission line but 500 KV transmission line remained off till late night.

A spokesman of Water and Power Ministry told this scribe that four power generation machines have already been reinstated, but it will take time to synchronise the entire transmission system. To a question, he said that a formal inquiry will be held to investigate the matter and responsibility would be fixed of this massive power breakdown.

The National Power Control Centre (NPCC) restored electricity in Islamabad after three hours; however, other parts of Punjab remained without power till late night. However, sources said that electricity was restored in some parts of Lahore by around 8.00 pm but the system again broke down.