Residents of Khayaban-e-Bukhari, including Bukhari Commercial Area, Khayaban-e-Ittehad, Khayaban-e-Ghazi, Hotel Carlton, Creek Culb and adjoining areas suffered 14 hours of power outages in two different spells within 24 hours.
The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) had reportedly announced through newspaper advertisements that power supply to the aforementioned areas would be cut off from 9 am on Saturday 28 March till 6 pm the same day on account of “maintenance”. After bearing the first 9-hour spell, which ended around 6.30 pm, residents of the afore-mentioned areas were subjected to another spell, from midnight to just a couple of minutes past 5 am on Sunday 29 March, as the KESC distribution grid developed “some other problem”, which had seemingly escaped the attention of the KESC during the earlier 9-hour maintenance drive.
Meanwhile, attendants at the KESC office on Khayaban-e-Mohafiz claimed that, during both spells, maintenance work was not carried out by their office, but by the KESC Technical Maintenance Department at the head office during the first spell, and by the Operations department in the second spell. Throughout the night, attendants at the office seemed hapless about the situation, apologizing for a blunder committed by the technical department. Attendants could also not confirm whether the localities will be subjected to more power outages on Sunday, as they said such decisions were not theirs to make.
When the second stage of power outage began just past midnight, upon inquiry, attendants received news that the “fault” would be solved within two hours. Around 2.30 am, attendants received news that the source of the fault hasn’t been determined yet, and it would take at least another hour to complete the investigation process. However, even after that hour had passed, KESC maintenance teams could not pinpoint the root of the problem. Around 4am, news started filtering through that the source had finally been discovered: the Hotel Carlton high-tension feeder had tripped, sinking a large portion of DHA Phase VI and VIII in complete darkness. It took another hour for the KESC team to finish the repair operation, with KESC log books showing 5 am as the time when the fault was marked as solved.
Around 5.07 am, electricity was restored to the first few streets of Khayaban-e-Bukhari, as well as Park Lane and adjoining lanes.
Residents of the area meanwhile were left extremely frustrated, with many claiming that while alternative arrangements could be made during announced outages, a “fault” developing just some hours after maintenance works were completed made the same maintenance claims seem simply farcical.
“Our uninterrupted power supply (UPS) hadn’t lasted the nine hours during the morning spell, and before it could even recharge completely, the power went off again. Our UPS ran out at around 2 am, and we were left without our back-up supply for the next three hours or so,” said Ahmed Omar, a resident of Khayaban-e-Bukhari 7th Street.
Those with the luxury of generators paid the exorbitant price of fuel, as Mrs Salma Salman resident of Popular Avenue narrated. “I had to spend over Rs6,000 for fuel yesterday, and we had to go to purchase fuel thrice, once in the middle of the night.”
Source: The News