Govt mulls strategy to prevent power outages after massive breakdown


ISLAMABAD: A day after the massive breakdown hit the country which left more than 220 million people without electricity and incurred tens of millions of dollars in industry losses, the federal cabinet directed the authorities concerned to devise a comprehensive strategy to prevent such a widespread blackout in the future. The outage occurred on a winter’s day when temperatures are forecast to fall to around 4 degrees Celsius in Islamabad and 8 degrees Celsius in Karachi. According to details, the country experienced a major blackout when a fuel conserving measure by the authorities went wrong. During an interaction with local media on Monday, Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said: “As an economic measure, we temporarily shut down our power generation systems [Sunday night].” He added that when the engineers tried to turn the systems back on, a “fluctuation in voltage” was observed, forcing the officials to shut down the power grid stations. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved a nationwide public awareness drive on the conservation of power, water, gas and other resources to make the people develop such habits. The meeting also called for inclusion of the subject of best international practices on energy conservation in the educational curriculum. It was told that energy conservation efforts at the public, private, domestic and commercial levels would help reduce the import bill of petroleum products which had increased remarkably during the last seven years. The prime minister, expressing annoyance over the widespread power breakdown on Monday, said the inconvenience caused to the people was unacceptable and would not tolerate such happenings in the future.



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