USD 79.9667 CNY 11.3044 EUR 85.9190 JPY 57.2008
Home » Cities in Pakistan Without Electrical Power Following Grid Collapse

Cities in Pakistan Without Electrical Power Following Grid Collapse

23 January 2023, Monday
A nationwide blackout hit Pakistan on Monday morning after an issue with the national grid left millions of people in the dark. Major cities such as Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar were all affected as power was cut out. Power Minister Khurrum Dastagir explained that a "frequency variation" in the south of the country caused the grid to fail.

Pakistan has endured power outages for some time, with deficiencies in management and investment in infrastructure seen as the primary causes. Last October, a major blackout took an extended period of time to repair.

At 7:30am local time today, the energy ministry reported that the grid had suffered a rapid decline in frequency and caused a serious breakdown. The ministry had already begun taking rapid steps to restore power supply.

Despite this, the government maintained that this was not a 'major crisis' and that the system would be up and running soon.

Mr Dastagir said that some grids across the country have already been reactivated, and that electricity will be restored in totality by 2200 hours local time. He informed Geo TV that this is due to the decrease in energy demand in the winter months compared to the summer, during which people often rely on air conditioning and fans to counter the climbing temperatures. 

"As an economical measure, we reduce our power generation systems in winter when the nationwide need for electricity lessens," he conveyed.

When the morning arrived, reports emerged from southern Pakistan of "frequency variation and voltage fluctuation" observed somewhere between Dadu and Jamshoro. The result was that power generating units shut down one by one nationwide, resulting in traffic lights going off, fans ceasing to operate and lights going out. The Orange Line metro of Rapid transit in Lahore, which is driverless, had also suspended its operations due to the power cut.

In Pakistan, frequent power outages and load shedding - when power is reduced to certain areas to avoid system failure - are a regular occurrence. Companies, factories and households make use of standby generators to maintain electricity when the power goes out. Airports, however, were unaffected as they possess their own back-up power supply, as confirmed by a spokesperson from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.

Officials from Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, informed the BBC that only few departments have been severely affected by power outages. This is because the hospital has been able to provide electricity to every sector, including all critical care units, through the use of generators. 

Nevertheless, not all organisations and households have access to such power backup facilities.

In response to this, the government recently imposed a new energy conservation plan, requiring all malls and markets to close by 8:30 PM, while restaurants have to cease operations by 10:00 PM.

The Pakistani Cabinet announced that the federal departments were instructed to reduce their electricity usage by 30%, which is expected to save the country around 62 billion Pakistani rupees ($270 million; £220 million). 

Energy prices have been increasing globally over the past year, putting a strain on the country's finances and foreign reserves necessary for buying energy from abroad. The majority of the nation's power is generated by imported fossil fuels.
UselessPoorFairGoodExcellent (No ratings yet)