Power supplies are become scarce and expensive in our part of the world, thanks to high prices of energy fuel in the international market in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war. A major part of the country faced a power outage – 8,000 megawatts, according to Power Minister Ghulam Dastgi, including Karachi and Lahore and several other cities. Though the matter has yet to be probed by a high-profile committee, the Ministry of Power was quick to blame an “accidental defect” in the transmission system for the major blackout. A high-level inquiry committee has been formed by the Ministry of Power to gather information regarding the partial collapse. Anwar Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Ijaz Khan, and Muhammad Zakaria will serve on the committee, which will be led by Muhammad Mustafa, Lahore general manager (technical), per a directive from the National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited. The breakdown points to the outdated transmission lines and the whole system in the country’s southern transmission parts. A malfunction stems from a chain of tripping of power plants in the south in stages, leading to interruptions in the delivery of energy to the country’s south and north.
By the time, this editorial is being written in the late evening hours of Thursday, the power has not resumed despite Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan’s optimism that power will be fully restored. We hope and wish that by the time, this newspaper is delivered to readers, power is back to normal levels. The blackout reminds us of a similar, unexpected blackout in August of 2020 when a single switch/changeover that was improperly scheduled left half of Pakistan without power at night. Then minister Hammad Azhar stated that one grid station in Sindh was to be responsible for the issue. The consumers have to suffer because of the inefficient system and overworked officials. It is good to note that the minister is personally monitoring the progress of the restoration and is updating the public about the process. More power to you, dear minister.