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April 16, 2018

One-third of Lahore without powerfrom dawn to dusk


April 16, 2018

LAHORE: About one-third of provincial metropolitan was out of power supply during most of the day on Sunday, making life of people miserable as many consumers didn't know reason for the shutdowns due to apathy of Lesco management.

Four main grid stations of the city, supplying electricity to millions of consumers, were shut from 6am up to evening as many consumers were unaware of the planned shutdown. The total load of these grid stations, including, Kotlakhpat, McLeod Road, Riwaz Garden and Qartaba is approximately 800mw out of present 3,000mw of Lesco peak load.

The power supply was abruptly suspended early morning around six when all of us were sleeping, said Ali, an annoyed resident of Kotlakhpat. The SDO and other staff of area were not attending so we were not aware of why power supply was stopped and when it would be restored, he added.

The same was the case with the unlucky residents of Hamza Town Subdivision. It is my routine on the weekend, particularly on Sundays when I used to get proper sleep following hectic schedule of weekdays, said Mudasir, a dejected local residents. However, I had to wake up due to prolonged power suspension, thanks to mismanagement of Lesco managers, who forgot to tell consumers about the shutdown. It is very unusual to cut power supply so early for the discomfort of consumers and that to without proper announcement.

The distressed consumer said he had tried to check with Lesco staff early in the morning but to no avail. No one is attending call, messages are not being replied. What does this mean? Are they sleeping?

More worryingly, Lesco didn't issue formal statement to media like other distribution companies do for giving prior information to consumers. Lesco PR section officials are on deputation from customer service department. Some of them have keen interest in sports section also. So, obviously they got little time for media management, sources said. Lahore Development Authority gave a small ad in some newspapers about April 15 shutdown. However, there was no mention of closing down Kotlakhpat grid.

To make matter worse, Lesco staff concerned including SDO Hamza Town was not available for giving information about shutdown as they were not attending calls or responding text messages. The adverse effects of massive power cuts were widespread, extending from Walled City to Model Town up to boundary of city towards Kasur district.

A senior official of Power Division, Ministry of Energy said shutdown in Lahore was for maintenance purposes. He explained that shutdown in South of city had been allowed on both 132kV Busbars at New Kotlakhpat on Sunday from 0600-1200hrs for reinforcement of busbar connector. Thus, local 132/11kV T/Fs at New Kotlakhpat will remain affected. All other area will be shifted to alternate sources with load management.

To a question, he said tickers about shutdown were run on local TV for dissemination of information about outages. He claimed that out of total 8,620 federal across country excluding KE, 7420 feeders remained within schedule load management, which includes 4807 feeders where zero load management was observed while on 1188 feeders a load management of two hours was conducted. Moreover, 370 feeders remained under fault or PTWs and on 247 feeders approved work for maintenance was conducted. Only 20 feeders across the country remained in the out of scheduled category.

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