Islamabad-Despite claims of surplus power, several parts of the country including Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been facing announced and unannounced power outages at different intervals.
The unscheduled and forced load-shedding is also being observed in different parts of the country during Sehr, Iftar and Taraveeh timing mainly due to the weak and outdated system of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC).
Although there are complaints of load-shedding from different parts of the country during night hours, the situation has become far worse in regions falling within the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO).
The IESCO has passed the buck on the NTDC for the current load-shedding as the company spokesperson told The Nation that they have enough power in their system and “if today, their system improves, they can provide 24-hour uninterrupted power supply to their region”.
According to the IESCO spokesman, they were facing the problem due to the over-loading of two NTDC gird stations, one at Rawat and other at Burhan. The grid station at Rawat gets the power supply from Mangla and the Burhan grid station gets power from Tarbella. “Both are outdated and cannot take the extra load,” he said. “To protect the system from collapsing, the IESCO is resorting to unscheduled load-shedding. On the directives of the National Power Control Center (NPCC), we are doing load management for 333 megawatts electricity and therefore consumers are facing power outages during the night time,” he said.
Not only the load-shedding but also the low voltage has been playing havoc with the lives of the people.
Although the rain coupled with the gale on Tuesday afternoon in the twin cities and adjacent areas brought some temporary relief for IESCO consumers, they were made to live without electricity for four to five hours in the daytime.
The NTDC is planning to install a transformer at Rawat after Ramazan to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the twin cities.
Ironically, during the past five years, the NTDC had failed to upgrade the important grid stations at Rawat and Burhan and the people will have to wait till the end of Ramazan to get some respite.
Ministry of Power spokesperson Zafar Yaab said: “We are still monitoring everything. No issue at any other DISCO. The IESCO will now provide a data four times a day regarding constraints related to forced load-shedding. The chief executive officer and his team will be providing all information. However, the constraint as I explained will be sorted out after Ramazan.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad is facing Rawat “backflow” and the power transformer constraint with the low generation at Mangla further creating the problem of frequency balancing, which if not controlled, may result in a total blackout.
“The installation of a transformer (750MW) is in the final stage.
It will be done immediately after Ramazan as no shut down can be afforded at this point in time. This is a factual position and we have to bear with it. We cannot hide the truth nor we are required to tell lies for any one’s sake,” he Zafar Yaab said.