WAPDA blames NPCC for worst power blackout
ISLAMABAD: The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has passed the buck on National Power Control Centre (NPCC) responsible for December 12 (Friday) massive power breakdown in most parts of the country and also recommended to take strict action against ‘guilty’ officials of the NPCC, it was learnt on Saturday.
Sources at the Ministry of Water and Power on the condition of anonymity told Daily Times that WAPDA has conveyed its preliminary findings to the power ministry about Friday’s several hours long unprecedented breakdown in many parts of the country. They said that the authority in its findings has held the NPCC responsible, adding that the breakdown was because of the tripping in the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) transmission line that caused closure of hydel powerhouses.
“A severe action by the government against the responsible NPCC officials is likely in near future because of their gross ignorance,” a power ministry official said. Sources in power sector also said that load on hydel power houses and transmission system was increased manifolds due to reduced power generation from the thermal power plants installed in Punjab and Sindh provinces. They were of the view that NPCC failed to control the electricity load on the system as it could not get the power grid stations closed in time to avoid worst blackout.
They argued that when load on the system crossed its limits then power units at Tarbela, Ghazi Barotha, and Mangla powerhouses developed some fault and fell out of the system, adding that the actual cause of breakdown has so far been not investigated, though the WAPDA has initially held NPCC responsible of breakdown. However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Water and Power when contacted by Daily Times said that data of NPCC would be analysed in detail and responsible will have to face the consequences.
“It is too early to say who is responsible for the power breakdown. An in-depth analysis is under process to draw the accurate and final conclusion regarding breakdown,” he added. Interestingly, there were mixed opinion about the actual cause of Friday’s breakdown among the officials of power sector organisations, as everyone was passing the buck to each other.
Few officials said that it was because of a fault in one main transmission line of the NTDC connecting Tarbela and Mangla dams tripped, while some said that Tarbela and Ghazi Barotha powerhouses developed some fault, causing one of the worst blackouts in the country. It is pertinent to mention here that the NPCC has a state-of-the-art machine that indicates and registers fluctuations in microseconds. But, the NPCC failed to notice signs when the system went into distress because of a problem at any of the lines or powerhouse.