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July 8, 2019

Sleepless nights for Pindiites without electricity

Islamabad

July 8, 2019

Fazal Town Phase-I faced electricity breakdown on Friday night because of rain. It plunged houses into darkness in hot July weather and the residents had sleepless night.

Some blamed the system collapse on some areas drawing more than their share of electricity from the over-burdened grid, but some say out-dated transmission lines were at fault.

“We are having intermittent power supply since weeks. We have been facing power breakdowns in the daytime which continue into the night,” says Fida Hasan, a banker.

“This is a huge failure. It is a management failure as well as a failure of policy. It is policy paralysis in the power sector,” says Anam Haider, an annoyed private school teacher.

Electricity breakdown brought frustration for the area residents. They could not sleep since the electricity went off. Sadaf Ali, 49, a housewife, says: “Electricity had not been restored till 11 am, we had no idea when it would return,” she said. “We were really tense. I couldn’t’ do ablution for Namaz-e-Fajr as there was no water.”

“It’s certainly shameful. Power is a very basic amenity and situations like these should not occur,” says Sajid Naqvi, 19, an angry intern with a bank. “They talk about major reforms but can’t get something as essential as power supply right,” adds Sajid.

“With poor economic management the government has emptied the pockets of common man; kept stomachs hungry with inflation and now they are trying to push them into darkness,” says Zahid Hussain, a factory worker.

Although the weather turned pleasant, electricity consumers were irritated about power department’s ambiguous response to their complaints. Rubab Ali, a beauty parlor owner, says: “I called 118 to find out what was the reason of electricity breakdown, a person at the other end could not tell me anything. He just kept on repeating the sentence: “All the operators are busy at the moment, please call later.”

Asad Naqvi, a trader, says: “I wonder what the monsoon would be like if power system cannot even withstand light rain. The situation will become worse in the rainy season. The power authorities really ought to think ahead if they want to provide their consumers uninterrupted electricity.”

Mustafa Zaidi, an electrical engineer with IESCO says: “It does happen quite often because our system is utterly outdated. Thus, in the case of thunderstorm or heavy winds, there is a high chance of broken wires and short circuits. These broken wires and short circuits can cause trippings in the transformers and even whole feeders”.

“Broken wires also cause high hazard to human lives due to shock. Thus at times the power company even deliberately turns the supply off in order to minimize the damage,” adds Mustafa.

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