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Lahore
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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EditorialPower breakdown

Power breakdown

Thankfully, Pakistan’s power was restored at 10pm on Monday following a 12-hour blackout. When the majority of the populace is in terror for a solid 16 hours and counting without power, it should be considered a national disaster. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir claims that the significant nationwide power outage is not a severe one, but it raises concerns about how the government is managing the nation’s power supplies. The minister claimed that an unexpected voltage and frequency fluctuation in the North-South transmission corridor caused the system frequency of the national grid to collapse and cause a general breakdown. When the minister turned to television to address the nation since there was no light in the country to power TV networks, the horror of the events reached a new low. It all began when electricity was shut off during low usage hours overnight to save fuel across the country, preventing technicians from booting up the system all at once after daylight. The blackout was reminiscent of a big blackout in January 2021, which was blamed on a technical breakdown in Pakistan’s electricity generation and distribution infrastructure at the time.

This simply means that now and again, a big breakdown happens across Pakistan, exposing the system’s vulnerabilities. The development calls into question the role of Pakistan’s electricity industry at a time when the government appears to be working overtime to get the country’s economy out of a slump.  As authorities battled to even partially restore the power supply, several major cities, including Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, and outlying towns and villages were in the dark. Authorities sent more police to marketplaces around the nation to offer security as the outage persisted into Monday night.

Many of the 220 million people living in this country were left without drinking water as a result of the statewide energy outage since electricity-powered pumps did not function. Amid the bitter winter weather, power was out in schools, hospitals, workplaces, and stores.

Power outages typically occur from a lack of controls and checks as well as from insufficient departmental collaboration. Pandemonium is exacerbated by the ensuing panic. All distribution and generation companies should work to upgrade transmission lines, and management should be instructed to promptly contact stakeholders to establish the SOP for handling upcoming emergency scenarios. There should be a probe into the major breakdown, and lessons should be learned so that there is no repeat of such cases in the future.

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