The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Friday fined the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) Rs50 million for a countrywide power breakdown in January 2021. A spokesperson for the NEPRA said the NTDC failed to ensure power supply in a timely manner, as it took at least 20 hours to restore the supply. The blackout had prompted an inquiry and a committee tasked with investigating the incident submitted a comprehensive report to the authority concerned. According to NEPRA, a show cause notice was issued to the NTDC on August 25, 2021, but during the hearing, it failed to give a satisfactory response. The regulatory authority found the NTDC guilty of violating the provisions of the grid code; therefore, it was liable to pay Rs50m as a penalty. The regulatory authority will also initiate a legal action against respective power plants, says a news report. On January 9, 2021, Pakistan plunged into total darkness as the NTDC power system encountered a major breakdown due to the tripping of Guddu Thermal Power Plant at around midnight. The blackout had partially disrupted the telecommunication system in the country as well. In Feb 2021, an inquiry report of the NEPRA found officials of Guddu Thermal Power Plant in “gross negligence” that resulted in the countrywide blackout on January 9. The regulator had recommended the management of the Guddu Power plant initiate departmental action against the delinquent staff regarding the instant breakdown and management reforms for systematic working. The regulator had constituted a three-member inquiry committee, which submitted its report on February 8, 2021, and made it available to the public. According to the report, the 3-phase to earth bolted fault was caused because of gross negligence of Guddu Power Plant staff, who operated the 220kV Circuit Breaker D12Q1 (CB) without opening the earth switch of the 220kV Isolator D12Q31 and that too without permission of the NPCC. Unfortunately, not only the CB failed to trip but the CBF scheme also did not operate. As a result, cascade tripping occurred due to the bolted fault which divided the power system in South and North zones – consequently, there was sufficient unbalance between the generation and the load. In the South Zone, including K-E, there was more generation as compared to load, which at first experienced tripping due to over voltage /over speed/over frequency and consequently on under frequency, the report said.