Rain drains City of Lights

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As the first monsoon rain hit the metropolis, almost 130 feeders of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) across the city tripped causing hours’ long power breakdowns in many areas of the city.
The rain which started overnight Wednesday plunged the city into darkness, raising several questions against the performance of KESC’s distribution system. The power supply was suspended to Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir, Saddar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Lyari, Korangi, Baldia, Federal B Area and North Karachi among several other parts of the city because of the tripping of feeders and other technical faults.
Sources inside the KESC claimed that the current power failure after the rain was due to lack of technical and safety measures at the KESC installations. The feeders installed underground are lacking the support of tiles and ‘safety layers’ needed to avoid tripping and other faults from developing.
The tiles installed beneath the cable/feeder help to recede rainwater immediately while keeping the wires dry. The layers, to be disconnected after any fault and over loading in the feeder, can be connected within 10 minutes, keeping the feeder safe from any major tripping.
However, the KESC has not installed these required materials within the feeders, causing major tripping at the installations.
Moreover, the company has also not set up any ‘rain emergency/safety centres’ in the city direly needed in the monsoon season to rectifying any faults in short time period. The KESC earlier established such centres but the current management is only limited to lip servicing.
According to the sources, the KESC has advised the citizens to keep away from wires and PMTs ‘but not made any practical safety arrangements.’
The power breakdowns due to light rains have proved the fragility of the company’s distribution system, which is likely to aggravate in case of further rains during the monsoon season. However, the KESC management claimed that only 10 percent of the feeders were tripped and the company’s staff was busy in trying to control the faults. They claimed that many feeders have come online while work on other faulty feeders was continued.
According to the MET office, Landhi received 22mm of rain while Nazimabad received 8.4mm, Masroor Base 10mm and PNS Faisal received 9mm of rain.
CDGK declares rain emergency: Karachi Administrator Lala Fazlur Rehman declared rain emergency on Thursday in the wake of the start of monsoon rains in the metropolis.
The leaves of the staff of the services department were cancelled and all major departments instructed to ensure round-the-clock work on eight hour shift basis.
Talking to media representatives in his office, Rehman said that with the restoration of frozen city government’s accounts, there will be no problems in the availability of fuel for municipal services’ vehicles and payment of salaries to the employees. The emergency alert in CDGK will continue until the end of monsoon season. After the first downpour, Rehman personally monitored the emergency situation through the CDGK’s Command and Control Room at Civic Center throughout Wednesday night and expressed satisfaction over the preparations made by the management in case rains.
Meanwhile, Karachi District Coordination Officer Mohammad Hussain Syed also coordinated with officers and staff on duty and supervised the situation through the camp office.