Islamabad – Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari has said that power supply to majority of areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab was being restored, following a major breakdown in the country's power transmission system early Wednesday.
A Power Division spokesperson said the breakdown was caused at the Guddu-Muzaffargarh power line, the tripping of which created faults at the Tarbela and Guddu power stations as well as other power plants.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Commission said the tripping of lines caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well. According to officials, Lahore and Faisalabad along with other cities in Punjab were affected, as was Peshawar and Swat among other cities of KP.
Around noon, the Power Division stated that electricity had completely been restored in Multan and 80 per cent of Islamabad, with restoration work underway. The division's spokesperson added that the Ghazi-Barotha hydel plant was also back online.
As per latest reports, there was intermittent electricity in Peshawar and none in Lahore. Patients at Lahore's Mayo, Gangaram and Services hospitals faced immense difficulties in the wake of hours-long outage. Several operations were postponed, while medics were forced to conduct check-ups in Out Patient Departments (OPDs) in the dark.
Speaking to Geo News, Leghari said the breakdown resulted from a fault in power transmission line and it was not a shortfall. The system returned to normal since 5:13pm," Leghari said, adding that it would take another one or two hours to in complete restoration of power supply countrywide.
He said that Wednesday's situation did not affect power supply in Karachi. The minister further said the demand and supply of electricity was being controlled as per schedule since December 4. Speaking in the National Assembly earlier, Leghari said an inquiry report into the breakdown would be completed by Wednesday evening.
The proceedings of the Punjab Assembly were disturbed due to the power cut, with opposition members protesting against the government for its failure to fix the country's power system. The breakdown also affected the operations at the already-troubled New Islamabad International Airport.
Sources said the offices of airlines, baggage handling and the Airport Security Force base camp, among other areas, are devoid of power. The loss of power also caused misery for patients and attendants at Rawalpindi's Benazir Bhutto Hospital, with the public hospital's generators also failing to give backup supply of electricity.
The spokesperson added that from today, industries in Punjab will also face load-shedding of 10 hours. Reacting to the move, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association vowed to protest, saying only Punjab's industries were being denied power for 10 hours a day. The association said it would meet the finance minister today and then announce its next course of action.