IT must be nothing but negligence of the authorities that led to the failure of major transmission lines that supply electricity to Karachi, causing complete blackout there. Reportedly, there was no protective system in place for these lines, which collapsed and plunged the city into darkness. Even if one were to buy the KESC story that it was a technical failure that caused the power outage it has to explain its miserable failure to carry out the necessary repairs and restore power to the grid stations. Apart from the plight of the people, the traffic signals stopped working that led to a traffic mess. The blackout on Wednesday-Thursday is not the only incident that speaks volumes about the authorities' poor handling of the power situation in the country's financial capital. They have failed to bridge the demand and supply gap, which more often than not keeps parts of the city without electricity. It reflects badly on the performance of WAPDA and KESC. Given the importance of Karachi and the promise it holds for the economic development of the country, the electricity authorities must gird up their loins and see to it that there is a backup plan to counter major power breakdowns.