Power distribution sector remained neglected in the past: Shibli claims

ISLAMABAD (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on Sunday that the present government was working on improvement of power distribution system which remained neglected in the past.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Minister for Energy Omar Ayub here he said that the previous government focused on power generation only. He said the government was committed to bring improvement in power sector.

He said a comprehensive plan is being pursued to upgrade transmission system and to enhance power generation.

He said that the power sector was the backbone of the country but the previous government did not introduce any new technology to improve the distribution system.

He said that presently power generation capacity was more than 36,000 MW but only 26000 mw could be distributed as distribution system was not compatible with it.

He said that there were technical issues with the distribution system as it was not upgraded with the passage of time.

He said Matiari-Lahore power transmission line was near completion and it would be accomplished by March this year.

To a question he said that steps would be taken to avert such a situation in future after the findings of inquiry report to find out the reasons behind the breakdown.

Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan said that electricity would be restored across the country within next few hours.

He said that countrywide blackout was caused due to sudden plunge in the frequency in the power transmission system.

He said a technical fault was reported at the Gaddu power plant at 11:41pm last night when the frequency fell from 50 to zero in a second.

He said that frequency fell down due to old transmission system which required huge amount to change it. In this regard the government had initiated work to change the transmission system step wise as it invested Rs 49 billion to improve the system. Matiari to Lahore 660kV HVDC Transmission Line Project was nearly completed and it would be operational in a couple of months, he added.

“The reason for the breakdown has not been ascertained yet. The technical fault occurred in a particular area” said Omar Ayub.

He said that an inquiry committee would be constituted to probe the issue. After submission of inquiry report by the National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC) opinion would be sought from engineers and technical experts over the matter, he added.

He said that the Prime Minister was also informed about blackout and the prime minister who instructed the concerned authorities to immediately start maintenance work and restore electricity, he added.

Omar Ayub said teams were facing difficulties to identify exact location of the technical fault due to dense fog in the area. However, electricity was restored later at night in some parts of the country including Islamabad, Faisalabad, Jhang, Multan, Peshawar, Mianwali, Lahore and some areas of Faisalabad while around 400 megawatt electricity was being supplied to K-electric, he added.

He said that time would be required to completely restore the system. He said that people witnessed eight major power break downs during the previous government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz but no step was initiated to upgrade transmission system.