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No respite from load-shedding in Pakistan even in Ramadan

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  • Power outages severely hit Pakistan during Ramadan at time of iftar and sehri. 
  • Power outages have further increased up to 10-12 hours.
  • Country faces load-shedding due to unavailability of required fuel for power generation and non-maintenance of some power plants.

ISLAMABAD: Power outages have severely hit Pakistan during the holy month of Ramadan following the unavailability of required fuel for power generation and the non-maintenance of some important power plants, The News reported Friday. 

The power outages have further increased up to 10-12 hours, making the lives of the public miserable even at the time of iftar and sehri.

A power division official said: “The less production of hydropower in the wake of no improvement in water flows into the system and no rain spell coupled with an increase in demand of electricity, because of a surge in mercury, which has increased to 19,000MW at peak hours, have also aggravated the electricity availability crisis. However, the demand during the daytime stands at 16,000 MW.”

According to official details, 12,000 MW of electricity is being produced in the daytime and 16,000 MW at peak hours starting from iftari to sehri, knowing the fact that the country has an installed capacity of electricity of over 39,000 MW, the publication reported.

All urban centres, such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Sialkot have been severely hit with 4-10 hours of load-shedding and rural areas with 10-12 hours. In Karachi, 3-4 hours of load-shedding is underway because of a reduction in electricity supply from the national grid by 300 MW. 

In Interior Sindh, the load-shedding currently stands at 10-12 hours. In Rawalpindi, power outages hover over 4-5 hours. The dwellers in Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot and their rural areas are also experiencing power outages of 4-10 hours. However, some areas are also facing load-shedding but at a bearable level.

In Lahore and its suburbs, the load-shedding stands at 4-10 hours. In the jurisdiction of MEPCO, power outages have increased to 12 hours. In Balochistan, the electricity load-shedding has surged to 10-12 hours. KPK is also facing power outages from 6-12 hours.

The water resources ministry said that Wapda has the installed capacity to generate electricity of 9,400 MW out of which during peak hours, the hydro generation currently stands at 4,700 MW whereas the average production of hydel stands at 3,400 MW. The system is getting from Tarbela Dam just an average 762 MW, Mangla 433 MW, Warsak 111 MW because of no improvement in water flows. However, the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project is producing electricity of 968 MW and the Ghazi Barotha hydropower project 644 MW on average.

Liberty Power of 210 MW, Rousch of 410 MW, Nandipur of 525 MW, FKPCL 140 MW and nine units of Faisalabad GTPS have not been producing electricity for the non-availability of RLNG for the last four months, from Dec 12, 2021.

HCPC of 120 MW has also been dysfunctional since October 4, 2019, owing to the expiry of its gas supply agreement. Two units of Jamshoro Power House of 549 MW and four units of Muzaffargarh of 840 MW have been non-functional since April 8 and 9, 2022, for a lack of furnace oil. 

The unit-2 of the Sahiwal power plant based on coal has not been producing electricity of 621 MW since April 20, 2022, for a lack of imported coal. However, 18 power plants having a capacity of 3,605 MW have been non-functional because of technical faults and non-maintenance.

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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PMD forecasts rain throughout the majority of the nation.

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During the next 24 hours (Thursday–Friday), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted rain, windstorms, thunderstorms, and a few torrential downpours or hailstorms throughout the majority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab, and Balochistan.

In several areas of Sindh, a rain-windstorm/thunderstorm is anticipated. Much of Balochistan is being hit by a powerful westerly wave trough, which is expected to spread to the top regions by April 18.

Prolonged downpours have the potential to cause flash flooding in Balochistani local streams and drains, particularly in Gwadar, Jiwani, Pasni, Ormara, Kech, Awaran, Kharan, Panjgur, Washuk, Noshki, Lasbela, Khuzdar, and Kalat.

On April 18–20, heavy rains could cause flash floods in tributaries of the Kabul River as well as in Dir, Swat, Chitral, Kohistan, Manshera, Gilgit–Baltistan, Kashmir, and other areas.

Lower Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan are among the regions where landslides may occur.

At this time, standing crops, power poles, cars, solar panels, and other objects may sustain damage from wind, hail, and lightning, according to meteorologists.

Upper Sindh and Balochistan saw rain, wind, and thunderstorms in the past 24 hours. During the era, there were also significant rainfalls in South Balochistan. Wednesday’s highs of 42 degrees Celsius in Mithi kept it as the country’s hottest spot.

Officials reported that lightning-related storm-related occurrences claimed the lives of at least 65 people in Pakistan, where the rate of precipitation in April has so far been roughly twice that of previous years. Floods and house collapses were caused by heavy downpours that occurred between Friday and Monday. Lightning claimed 28 lives.

32 people, including 15 children, have killed and over 1,300 homes have been damaged in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has suffered the greatest victim count.

The meteorological experts report that there is little probability of rain, despite the fact that drizzle fell in numerous areas of Karachi.

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