Power goes out in several Pakistan cities, millions left to sweat it out


Islamabad: Several cities in Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces were today plunged into darkness after a major power outage occurred due to a technical fault in one of the main transmission lines, leaving millions of people without electricity in the scorching summer heat.

The breakdown occurred due to tripping of Muzaffargarh-Guddu main transmission line. Four nuclear power plants at Chashma had also tripped due to the tripping of the main transmission line.

“The main 500 KV transmission line tripped due to unknown reason, leaving the two provinces with electricity,? said Power Division spokesman Zafaryab Khan.
Minister for Power Awais Khan Leghari said the sudden breakdown resulted in the tripping of several power generation plants in a cascading effect.

“But repair work was started soon after the incident and power was being slowly restored to the affected areas,” he said.

Leghari promised a probe into the causes of the breakdown, which has caused huge embarrassment for the government ahead of the election expected to be held in July.

Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in 2013 with the promise to tackle the chronic power shortages in the country.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged that the menace of load shedding would be over in 2018.

Pakistan has been grappling with power shortage and the unusually long hours of power outages has been haunting its people for about a decade.

The power-starved country received a big boost when Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated a China-backed 340 MW nuclear power plant in its Punjab province in 2017.

The fifth nuclear plant C-4 plant is located at Chashma was completed with the support and cooperation of China. Many projects were initiated under the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).