KARACHI - Citizens in the metropolis spent 19 hours without electricity which paralysed social and business activities in the City. The attendance at the offices on Thursday remained very low while roads presented a deserted look as people had to spend a sleepless night on Wednesday. Power outage gripped the entire city at 7pm on Wednesday due to a failure in the WAPDA and KESC systems. However, power supply was restored partially in Karachi after 2pm on Thursday. The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) faced power shortage on Wednesday evening due to a major fault caused by thunderstorm at Jamshoro-Dadu 500 KVA national circuit. It is pertinent to mention here that power supply system in the metropolis is an integrated system. The KESC, WAPDA, HUBCO and two IPPs are interconnected hence the collapse of 500 KV line paralysed the whole power supply system. During a press briefing on Thursday, Jan Abbas Zaidi, chief operating officer (distribution), Zafar Aziz Osmani, group head - organisational management, Jalil Tarin, chief finance officer, Khalid Javed, executive director (generation) and Ayesha Eirabie, director (corporate communications) said that at 07:07 pm, a fault at the Jamshoro-Dadu 500 KV circuit caused sequential trips in the KESC system. Our initial investigation revealed that failure of the NKI-Jamshoro 500 KV and Jamshoro-KDA 220 KV had resulted in the collapse of the entire KESC system. At the time, NTDC was supplying 560 MW to the KESC system, and total load became 2,223 MW. They said the NTDC and KESC engineers had tried to restore the power supply through Jamshoro-KDA circuit and bring Bin Qasim units online. At 08:24 pm, power supply from NTDC was restored and subsequently we attempted to synchronise unit 6 of Bin Qasim but very soon, repeated forced tripping of the Jamshoro-KDA circuit failed our attempt. In second trip, KESC began restoring the BQPS units by starting up Tapal Energy power station. Simultaneously, the KESC also restored the Jamshoro-KDA 220 KV line to provide back-feed energy at 23.50 PM, and two units at Bin Qasim were synchronised. Unit 6 and 3at Bin Qasim and units 4 and 2 at the Korangi Combined Cycle power station were brought on line. Jamshoro-KDA 220 KV supply line to KESC tripped again due to tripping at PEPCOs Jamshoro Power Station, when KESC was supplying 700 MWs to the city. Later, the Jamshoro-KDA 220 KV line was energized again and Unit 3 at the Bin Qasim started working. This NTDC supply line was then isolated to back-feed the Hubco power station. Unit 2 and 6 also got energised; these units were used to re-energise KESCs 220 KV and 132 KV transmission lines, allowing Gul Ahmed and Tapal power plants online, the officials added. The KESC system was then operating independently from NTDC network, Zaidi said and added we will maintain this isolation mode until the NTDC system stabilises. KESC officials thanked the citizens as well as the provincial and city district governments for demonstrating patience and support during the prolonged power failure. They said the utility had received full backing of the Sindh government and the CDGK in order to focus their concentration on resolving the technical issues. There is always chances of such incidents and no electricity system can avoid the negative impact of a natural catastrophe. Such incidents have been affecting not only big cities of the world but also whole countries and even continents at times, they added. On Thursday morning, Chief Executive Officer, Karachi Electric Supply Company, Naveed Ismail gave detailed briefing on power situation in the city to Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ibad Khan. He explained the background of the problem, which plunged entire Karachi into darkness the whole night. According to him, three successive interruptions from the national grid failed the efforts of restoration of power supply to the people of Karachi. The KESC official also identified the support needed in this regard from federal government, especially in restoration of 500kv transmission line in question. KESC also identified the support needed in this regard from the federal government, especially for the restoration of the 500KV transmission line in question. The demand of the city on Thursday evening was 2220 MW, while the supply was 1920 MW and the city faced 300 MW shortfall. PPI adds: The Karachi city is still experiencing a major power breakdown even after about 19 hours, as electricity has not been restored completely in most of the city areas on Thursday. According to KESC spokesman, two units of Bin Qasim Power Plant have been restored and partial power supply has been restored in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Johar, Malir, Landhi, Defence Phase I, Gizri, SITE and Haroonabad. The spokesperson of KESC said power supply from a private power plant would be started soon and electricity supply to the city would be restored completely within few hours. Meanwhile, Karachi faced acute water shortage of 350 million gallons on Wednesday and Thursday owing to the major power breakdown occurred due to tripping of KESC units at Bin Qasim power plant. Chief Engineer Bulk Transmission, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Najam-e-Alam said this talking to PPI here on Thursday. He said that the water supply was affected in the entire city due to power breakdown. He added that water supply was affected from 7 Oclock Wednesday evening till Thursday morning 9 Oclock, when no water was supplied to the city due to closure of pumping stations, which resulted in the acute shortage of water. The main pumping stations including Dhabeji, Gharo, Gizri, North East Karachi and Hub remained closed from Wednesday evening 7 Oclock till Thursday morning 9 Oclock, creating an acute shortage of 35million gallons of water, he said. On the other hand, the Examination Department, University of Karachi (KU) announced that due to non-availability of electricity in the city the papers of MA final (Regular & External) annual examination 2009 has been rescheduled. The paper II of MA final (all subjects) scheduled to be held on 18th June 2009 will now be held on June 27, 2009. The exam centre and timings of the paper would be the same as already announced in the schedule, earlier.