ISLAMABAD / LAHORE / KARACHI: The National Transmission and Delivery Company (NTDC) has formed a four-member inquiry committee to look into the facts / causes of the collapse of the power system on Saturday night, which left much of the country dark.
According to the NTDC notification, the committee included GM North Malik Javeed Mehmood, NTDC technical GM Ghulam Abbas Memon, NTDC CE Atif Mujeeb Usmani and NPCC Chief Engineer (Network) Sajjad Akhtar.
Malik Javed Mehmood will be the committee organizer, while the other three will be its members.
The committee will investigate the reasons / facts that led to the collapse of the power system.
It will also ask any officers / officers who are responsible for negligence in carrying out their duties.
The Committee is also mandated to suggest measures to prevent future recurrences of such incidents.
The committee was asked to provide its report with comprehensive and future findings / recommendations within seven days, the notification said.
With power supplies still playing hide-and-seek, the government and the opposition on Sunday engaged in a slang match blaming each other for power failures across the country on Saturday.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Sunday blamed past governments for power outages, because no attention was paid to power transmission systems.
In a tweet and later during a joint press conference with Energy Minister Omar Ayub, the minister said in the past no attention was paid to the power transmission system but it is being repaired now.
He said Omar Ayub and his team were credited with restoring power in various parts of the country.
The minister said Omar himself was monitoring the situation throughout the night, trying his best to resolve the issue.
Shibli said there was a disruption at 11:41 am last night after power supplies were cut across the country.
He said work was being done in a certain direction in the power sector and more attention was paid to power generation in the previous administration.
The minister continued, there are three sectors of electricity, namely generation, distribution and transmission. The power plant, he said, had already been built but the transmission system was not compatible. “If the power transmission system is not updated, there may be a problem.”
PM’s Special Assistant for Political Communications Dr Shahbaz Gill Sunday said the PML-N government had signed expensive electricity contracts just to make money and didn’t even bother attending the funerals of the martyrs.
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Chief Minister of Punjab Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan Minggu said Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar is in contact with the federal government for the complete restoration of electricity supply in every city in the province.
In a statement, he said the chief minister was personally monitoring the situation until the morning and issued the necessary instructions to the commissioner and the RPO.
He said the chief minister always stood in front of the public in difficult times and considered people’s suffering as his own.
He said Usman Buzdar was still in touch with the federal government.
Firdous said the supply situation has improved and people will be kept informed about this.
He said the flawed PDM was even trying to politicize the suspension of power.
“The slave girls are only paid for their lies. It is the government’s responsibility to inform the public about the situation. The government is unlucky because the opposition lacks vision and uses cheap tactics, “he added.
Meanwhile, PML-N’s Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb Sunday called the federal ministers’ press conference on the blackout a ‘hoax bulletin’ and said not only electricity but every sector has been damaged since the incompetent and destructive PTI government was imposed in Pakistan.
In a statement, he said the PTI government was used to blaming the PML-N and the opposition for everything.
He said although the government still doesn’t know what caused the damage, it shamelessly blames the former PML-N government for the crisis.
He said up to 25,000 megawatts of electricity were supplied by the PML-N government in the summer, but when PTI’s inability caused a power system disruption, suddenly the PTI government began to blame Nawaz Sharif’s mistakes.
“This system works well when handling the maximum load in the summer and during the winter when the load is less than half, the system crashes because of Nawaz Sharif,” he scoffed.
He said those who were unable to install one megawatt over the past 8 years in KP and for three years in the federal government had the courage to shamelessly blame Nawaz Sharif for the damage.
He said Nawaz Sharif saved the country from an 18 hour blackout and installed a new power plant. If the transmission system is bad, then how can Imran Sahib’s 18 hour load blackout become zero? When the ruler is a thief and incompetent, then darkness becomes the destiny of the nation, ”he said.
He said it would not surprise the nation if Imran’s next statement to come out was that the power plant Nawaz Sharif installed was blackmailing him.
He said since Imran Sahib came, everything had been damaged from the national currency to the economy, jobs, business, flour, sugar, food, railways, PIA, FBR, ministries, agencies and foreign policy.
PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said Prime Minister Imran Khan was “trying to revive the country”.
“The country’s economy is sluggish. We are running a rising deficit. Imran Khan thought: ‘Why don’t we reboot the country like a cell phone? Maybe it will work’,” Iqbal said, derisively.
“He’s trying to shut down the entire power system and turn it back on.
“Imran sahab, this is a country, not a cellphone that will start functioning after rebooting it. For God’s sake don’t mess with a country like this. Give up your resignation and go home,” said the PML-N leader.
He said the unprecedented closings “prove that this government is incompetent and does not meet the requirements”.
Meanwhile, electricity was not restored in many areas of Karachi including Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Surjani City and parts of the East and South Districts until late Sunday.
Meanwhile, in a statement, K-Electric (KE) said the nationwide cut-off of electricity flowing to the KE network was also affecting Karachi’s power supply.
The power company claims that since midnight 12, his team has been working to restore electricity to the city. By evening, according to a KE spokesperson, the electricity supply from the national grid could be continued through the existing connection points with KE.
The power company said its team was ready to handle any customer complaints it received at its 118 call centers.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Sindh Imtiaz Sheikh said the massive power outage across the country was none other than the incapacity of the federal power ministry.
Even after 12 hours, he pointed out in a statement, the federal ministry could not find the right fault.
He demanded that the chairman of the National Transmission and Shipping Company (NTDC) be suspended immediately and a questionnaire committee formed to investigate the matter.
Sheikh said it was a matter of great concern for state institutions that the whole country fell into darkness just because of one power plant.
He regretted that due to the lack of provincial representation in NTDC, there were no checks and balances.
The federal government, he said, was ignoring the need to improve mechanisms for distributing power over two and a half years in office.
The only job the federal government is doing is blaming the previous government, said Sindh’s energy minister.
Meanwhile, the Karachi Water and Waste Disposal Agency (KWSB) said that its main water pump station had a problem after the power went out and the water supply to the city was cut off.
Only small distribution pumping stations, according to a water council spokesman, can run on generators.
On Sunday evening, the water board said with the restoration of electricity, the water supply was resumed to various parts of the city.