By Muhammad Luqman
A major breakdown of electricity hit Pakistan’s transmission system on Wednesday, depriving northern half of the country of electricity.
“Breakdown was caused at the Guddu-Muzaffargarh power line, the tripping of which created faults at the Tarbela and Guddu power stations,” a spokesman of Power Division said.
The sudden blackout due to technical fault led to suspension of power supply in the major load centres in Punjab , Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur, Peshawar, Abbottabad for several hours.
“An enquiry into the breakdown has been ordered,” Power Minister Awais Leghari said.
A spokesperson of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said the tripping of lines caused all four Chashma Nuclear Power Plants to trip as well.
The breakdown also affected the operations at the already-troubled New Islamabad International Airport.
The offices of airlines, baggage handling and the Airport Security Force base camp, among other areas, are devoid of power.
Similarly, the proceedings of National Assembly and 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 loss of power also caused misery for patients in the hospitals of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.
The Power Division spokesperson said that the present energy demand of the country is around 20,000 megawatts.
This is one of the major power breakdowns in Pakistan after those of December 2014 and January 2015 when the power supply was restored in over 24 hours.