The power breakdown at Tarbela dam, caused by the tripping of the line at Guddu-Muzaffargarh, resulted in an almost total lack of electricity yesterday in most cities of Punjab and KP. In Lahore, in particular, the power was out starting from about 9 am till approximately 5:30 pm. Naturally, this raised quite a storm on social media.

Twitter, admittedly, has become a force to be reckoned with and today was another perfect example of why. People from various cities across the country took to the site to express their views on the prolonged power outage, in many different and colorful ways.

Here’s what, according to the people, the power crisis was really about:

1) The “Cascading Effect”

The tripping of the line resulted in the shutting down of not just the Tarbela dam, but also other power systems such as the Chashma nuclear power plants and a hydel plant, which may be why the outage was so prolonged and took time to fix.

If the point raised here is correct, it is important to think about whether the country’s system of electricity really should be so dependent on the working of just one dam.

Point reiterated.

2) Conspiracy Theory?

There’s always someone cooking up a conspiracy in the middle of a crisis:

Truth or just speculation?

While true that we’re facing a charged atmosphere right now with elections coming up and PML-N under pressure, we feel this crisis may be a bit beyond just Nawaz Sharif’s “want for riots”. However, it is true that the crisis in Karachi is taking place at exactly the same time. Anarchy may not be too exaggerated a description of the situation.

3) Sarcasm Abound

One of the effects of this crisis was that Twitter became a sort of purging platform for feelings of frustration and anger.

What with the beginning of Ramadan and the sacredness attached to it, it seems this power outage could not have come at a worse time for the government.
Another hour, another taunt

4) The Orange Train

Some took to heavy government bashing, as is the norm, this time in view of the Orange Train project.
Many agreed that the crisis was due to such missteps by the government (in many colorful ways):

Another bout of sarcasm
A concerned citizen asking an important question… “how will the train function when there’s no electricity?”

There were also some who thought politics should be kept separate from the power crisis (an impossible expectation):

It can definitely be argued that too much of the budget was allocated towards this metro project. However, keeping Pakistan’s history of load-shedding into account, it is not guaranteed that the Tarbela Dam crisis would not have happened anyway.

5) Blame Game

With the conclusion of the crisis and the resumption of electricity, some simply chose to show relief while some expressed their disappointment in the system. Others tried to be the ‘bigger people’ and provided an objective analysis of the situation.


Some lose hope

It’s definitely something to think about: are we blowing the power outage entirely out of proportion?

Admittedly, politicising things has become a reflex of sorts.
Do you agree it ‘would still have happened’?


It was definitely a hard day to get through for a lot of people; electricity is, after all, a basic necessity. At times like these, it becomes difficult to not look for someone to blame.

This crisis has definitely put a damper on people’s expectations for what this summer may look like. All we can do right now though is sit tight and try to stay positive.

*Feature Image Source: WikiCommons*


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