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Electricity crisis hits Makran as Iran cuts off power supply

By: Shoaib Durrazai

TURBAT: It is 15th day of electricity breakdown continued in  Makran division, approximately 20 lac population is suffering badly to get drinking water, large number of people are searching water from dawn to dusk. Since 1999 Iran supplying electricity to the several areas of Balochistan including Makran division (Turbat, Gwadar, Panjgur & Ormada).

The Anjuman e Taajeran Kech shut down the main markets while Kech bar Association (KBA) announced to boycott the court activities until electricity of Makran is restored. Ejaz Ahmed Advocate the central member of Kech Civil Society (KCS) expressed his views to Balochistan Point that in 21st century Balochistan is still deprived of the basic rights like water and electricity, Turbat is the hottest city of Pakistan where 54 centigrade has usually been recorded in month of June and July.

“It is irony in worst situation  electricity is not being provided also there is no concept of 3G & Mobile data Network in Turbat,’’ said Ejaz Ahmed Advocate.

Quetta Electric supply company (QESCO) told power supply from Iran was cut due to a technical fault in the main transmission line while some local sources confirmed due to the non-payment from the Government, Iran has cut  off the main transmission line which hits Makran.

Iran supplied 35 megawatts daily between 2003 and 2013 while the amount was increased from 35 megawatt to 100 megawatt which in process and would be utilized for Gwadar city as per agreement.

Balochistan’s total power demand approximately stands at 1200 megawatts which is less than half of the requirement of Karachi. Balochistan has no sound industrial base, hence there is no significant consumption of electricity for industrial purpose. The power consumption is largely for domestic purpose.

Currently, 35MW power is being imported from Iran through Mand, Thaftan and Mashkel interconnection while 39MW was importing for Gwadar.

In 2007,Islamabad signed an agreement with Iranian company, which Pakistan will buy 100-megawatt power from Iran for Gwadar port.

Iran annually exports over $2 billion worth of electricity to the neighboring countries, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and Iraq.

The power supply company, Qesco, says that they have been facing difficulty in supplying electricity for 12 hours to the Makran division since Iran cut off the supply. Government official said they have taken up the issue with Iranian authorities to come up with a permanent solution.

Published in The Balochistan Point on July 12, 2018

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