KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has decided to form a high-powered committee of its top professionals and eminent protection engineers from the private sector to find out the reasons for the nationwide blackout. Citizens are kept in the dark.
The committee will also make recommendations to avoid such incidents in the future, a statement said. The recent blackout was due to an engineering glitch on Saturday evening, which speeded up the system and shut down power plants, Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan told a press conference.
The blackout had plunged all major cities in Pakistan, including the capital Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore, into darkness.
According to Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan’s Twitter feed, supplies resumed in the cities by Sunday afternoon, where he also revealed that the shutdown was due to a fault at the Guddu thermal power plant. He said that Guddu, the country’s largest power plant, caused the national grid to collapse. The blackout has once again sparked a debate over the dilapidated state of the country’s power distribution system and the need to restore it on an emergency basis.
The National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) also formed a four-member inquiry committee to look into the causes and facts of the power outage. The committee was required to submit its report with comprehensive findings / recommendations and within seven days. It was the second major power outage in less than three years. In May 2018, the power supply was partially affected for more than nine hours. In 2015, a clear insurgent attack on a key power line plunged 80% of Pakistan into darkness. The blackout, the worst in Pakistan’s history, caused power outages in major cities across the country, including Islamabad, and affected the country’s international airports.