LARKANA, May 3: Almost half of the city and its suburbs plunged into darkness when main panels of a local grid station caught fire in the early hours of Tuesday.
Power at 15 feeders receiving electricity from this grid stations went off at 2.25am when the incident took place and could not be restored till late Tuesday evening.
Five teams of Maintenance and Protection Wing of the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) were busy in restoring the supply. Dawn
Chief Engineer Arshad Arain who is supervising the restoration work told that the fire was caused due to technical fault.
In-charge of the grid station Mohammed Rafique Shaikh said that the fire gutted seven panels resulting in suspension of power supply to as many feeders.
Sepco, as a precaution, switched off supply to other eight feeders, he said
The blaze was controlled after half-an-hour with the help of fire-brigade and extinguishers.
Panels destroyed by fire were replaced by the new material brought in from the company`s store room, he said.
The chief engineer said that their priority was to first restore power supply and then assess the damage. He said the affected feeders would be exempted from loadshedding.
Feeders where panels were destroyed included Baharpur, Old Mirokhan, Waleed, Shaikh Zayed Colony, Empire and Tube-well-4, said the in-charge.
Power supply stopped from other eight feeders included City-I, City-II, Station road, Murad Wahan, Industrial, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, Dhamraho and Old Naudero.
This correspondent found the Sepco staff busy in removing the underground burnt cables while panel room was blackened by the smoke.
Chief engineer was hopeful of getting restored power supply in the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday because of the enormity of the damage.
Power disruption from 15 feeders had badly affected routine life while slowing down trade and business activities.
Patients at the Chandka Medical College and Children Hospital were worst affected as they had to bear the double burden of power disruption and their ailments, especially when mercury hovered around 44 degrees Celsius.
The standby generator could only provide cover to operation theatre patients in Shaikh Zayed Hospital for Women.
Many roads and lanes were submerged by the overflowing drain water as sewage pumping stations stayed idle because of electricity shortage.