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KARACHI: The heatwave has exacerbated energy shortages across Sindh as people use more electricity to cope, putting more pressure on power feeders and transformers.

Muhammad Obedullah Tufail, an electrical engineer with vast experience working in electricity distribution companies, told Aaj News that air conditioner use increases during a heatwave but that is not the sole reason of increased power outages.

Electricity feeders that supply power to every area, commercial or residential, are 11 kilo volts (kV). “These feeders have a fixed load and temperature.”

When there is a heatwave, more electricity is used, burdening the 11kV feeder. Therefore, it is not always load shedding that leads to a power shutdown during a heatwave. Feeders trip because they can’t take the load.

On the other hand, overloading damages transformers which also disrupts a power supply to an area.

“Heatwaves also weaken the joints in underground cables which causes them to burst.”

Ghotki city in Sindh has been experiencing prolonged power outages. Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) Subdivision Officer Muhammad Din said they were cutting power to cope with demand.

However, the Larkana Sepco chief said it was for a different reason. Increased power cuts, to him, were a result of theft and line losses. Power theft has resulted in 12 to 18 hours of load shedding in rural areas.

In Sukkur, board examinations are being cited as the reason for change in the load shedding schedule.

The Sepco chief in Sukkur, Saeed Dawich, explained how it is linked to the two shifts for the Matric exams. “In order to provide an uninterrupted power supply to the examination centres during the second shift, we had to alter the load shedding schedule.”

He added that this was how it was being managed from Sukkur to Dadu.