Tuesday, January 24, 2023

After a day of widespread failure, a government source reports that Pakistan's electrical networks are now completely operational

A day after nationwide breakdown, govt source says power networks fully restored across Pakistan

 ISLAMABAD: A senior government source was cited by Reuters as saying that power networks had been fully restored throughout Pakistan as of Tuesday morning. The restoration comes 24 hours after 220 million people in the nation were without electricity due to a nationwide breakdown.

The outage began at approximately 7.30 a.m. (0230 GMT) on Monday and was caused by a cost-cutting measure in the midst of Pakistan's economic crisis.

On Monday evening, energy minister Khurram Dastgir Khan stated that power was being restored gradually.

The country's power system is a delicate web of complexity where issues can quickly spread.

As power generation units were turned on early Monday morning, Khan claimed the cut was caused by a variation in frequency on the national grid. He had previously told reporters that the units were temporarily turned off on winter nights to save fuel.

Private generators frequently keep hospitals, factories, and government institutions operating in Pakistan during frequent localized power outages. However, the machines are out of reach for the majority of individuals and small businesses.

Temperatures were expected to drop below freezing overnight in parts of northern Pakistan, and supplies of natural gas, the most common form of heating, were also unreliable due to load-shedding.

With the power outage adding even more stress to small businesses, the economy is already hampered by rampant inflation, a falling rupee, and severely low foreign exchange reserves.

Muhammad Iftikhar Sheikh, 71, a homeware merchant in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, claimed that he was unable to demonstrate electronic products to customers who were looking around.

He stated, "The customers never buy without testing first." We are all dozing off."

The majority of schools continued in the dark or with battery-powered lighting.

According to AFP, a store owner in Karachi, a southern port city where temperatures were higher, was concerned that his entire dairy inventory would spoil without refrigeration.

According to 39-year-old printer Khurrum Khan, the blackout was causing an increase in orders.

He stated that unreliable power is "a perpetual curse that our governments have failed to overcome."

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority tweeted that the outage also affected mobile phone services.

In January 2021, the entire nation was affected by a similar breakdown caused by a fault in southern Pakistan that tripped the national transmission system.

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