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Saturday February 04, 2023

Electricity, water woes persist in parts of city

By Our Correspondent
January 25, 2023

While K-Electric announced on Tuesday that it had restored power supply to Karachi following a countrywide electricity breakdown a day earlier, many residents of the city complained of facing outages.

The Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) also announced that power had been restored at its main Dhabeji Pumping Station at 5:15am, following which the KWSB announced having resumed water supply to the city.

The KWSB said that after the water supply resumed, the city started getting normal supply within five hours. The water board, however, said the city faced a shortfall of 640 million gallons.

The KWSB also said that its 72-inch-diameter main water line at the Dhabeji Pumping Station that had got affected due to the power outage had been repaired by Tuesday.

As for the electricity situation, KE said that power supply from the national grid had resumed, while all the grid stations of the power company were now functional. However, KE pointed out, due to the gaps between demand and supply, there could be temporary power load-shedding in a few areas of the city.

Many residents of the city, however, complained that power had not been restored to their localities until late evening. The city’s main business hub, II Chundrigar Road, and a few areas of Saddar Town were without power until Tuesday afternoon.

A few residents complained that power was restored by 7am but another outage occurred after a few hours. Gulshan-e-Iqbal resident Muhammad Askari said power was restored around 7:30am but another outage occurred after an hour before power was restored in the afternoon.

The Kharadar locality was also without power until late on Tuesday. Many traders lamented that they did not have power all day on Monday, and much of the day on Tuesday. KE said in a press statement that power supply to Karachi, including residential, commercial and industrial zones, the KWSB’s water pumping stations, the airport and major hospitals was normalised by early Tuesday afternoon.

“On Monday morning, a wide part of the country’s power network was impacted due to a reported sudden problem in the national grid network, which triggered a cascading effect,” reads the statement.

KE said their teams immediately began restoration efforts after confirming that its network was safe, channelling electricity to the citywide network of 71 grids. The first priority, according to KE, was to restore power supply to strategic installations such as pumping stations, hospitals and the international airport, etc.

KE said its management also remained in close contact with National Transmission & Despatch Company authorities to re-establish the connection between Karachi and the national grid, which sped up the restoration process.

KE CEO Moonis Alvi said he was grateful to Federal Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir Khan who took an active interest in the restoration efforts and remained in contact with the power company throughout.

Alvi also appreciated the support extended to the power company by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and his provincial government as well as their regulator for their guidance.

“The untiring efforts of our teams were pivotal in managing the situation. Though we were undertaking planned maintenance activities on some of our generation plants to optimise them ahead of summer, we immediately brought them online to support the city in this time of need.”

He also thanked the customers for their patience during this time. The statement said that while KE networks are back to normal, ground teams remain active to resolve any localised faults. “KE’s channels including social media platforms, 118 call centre and 8119 SMS service remain available to support customers 24/7.”

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