January’s Nationwide Power Outage was Due to Lack of SOPs, Senate Body Told

The Senate Standing Committee on Power while probing reasons for the massive power breakdown that took place in January this year across the country, was informed that lack of SOPs for the operations of the system was a major cause for the incident.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Power was held on Wednesday at Parliament House, Islamabad. The meeting was chaired by Committee Chairman Senator Saifullah Abro and was attended by Senator Fida Muhammad, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Rana Mahmood ul Hassan and senior officers of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), NEPRA and other concerned officials.

The committee was briefed in detail regarding the massive power breakdown that took place in January and the undertaken inquiries, the construction of a 765Kv double circuit transmission line from Dasu Hydro Power Station to Islamabad, and an update on the illegal appointment of DMD and other posts in NTDC.

Other matters taken up were briefings by different DISCOs on recovery status, maintenance, and operation status of Public Sector Power Plants installed at all GENCOs along with recovery of damage of 747MW (GT-14) from M/s GE and status of promotion of technical staff from XEN to C.E and update status of the appointment of CEO, GHCL, and consideration of Point of Public Importance regarding the process of appointments in MEPCO.

Probing reasons for the massive power breakdown that took place in January this year across the country, the committee was informed that the lack of SOPs for the operations of the system, in general, was a major cause of the incident.

The committee was informed that in this particular case, the increase in wind power due to bad weather caused the catastrophe. The committee raised questions regarding the reports of the four inquiry committees that were constituted to investigate the matter and raised strong objections regarding the non-availability of the same.

The Power Division briefed the committee that four committees were constituted in light of the direction given by the Cabinet. The notifications were issued on 4th April and two weeks’ time was given to finalize the report. When asked about the finalization of the report, the committee was told that three technical reports have been submitted to the Power Division and two are left. The Power Division assured the committee that the final report will be submitted to the committee within 29 days. The committee also recommended submitting the notifications of the four committees constituted by the Power Division.

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