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Saturday June 15, 2024

Minister slams KE for punishing Karachiites with overbilling, loadshedding

Sindh minister says KE should identify whoever steals electricity, lodge cases and cut off their power supply

By Web Desk
May 25, 2024
Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani is addressing a press conference in Karachi on May 25, 2024. — Screengrab/Geo News
Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani is addressing a press conference in Karachi on May 25, 2024. — Screengrab/Geo News

KARACHI: Sindh Local Government Minister Saed Ghani on Saturday slammed Karachi’s power distribution company K-Electric (KE) for imposing collective punishment on the citizens with loadshedding and overbilling in the metropolis.

“The issue of [power outages] is out of our control as KE’s policies are beyond our comprehension. You cannot punish an entire society for a person,” Ghani said addressing a press conference in Karachi.

“You should identify the person who steals electricity, lodge an FIR against them, and cut their electricity supply rather than suspending power supply to the entire area,” he maintained.

The minister said bill payers had to bear the onus of losses faced by the utility company because of electricity theft by paying inflated bills. He said it was specified in the law that what department would charge what taxes.

“I have never encouraged electricity theft and acknowledge that no institute can provide electricity by spending money from its own pocket. However, why the ones not involved in theft should endure loadshedding,” he wondered.

Calling collective punishment "inhumane", he demanded the KE to provide uninterrupted power supply to the ones honestly paying the bills.

Ghani said people should pay bill for water, but he could not cut their supply if they did not pay the bill.

Karachi has been sweltering during the past few days with extreme temperatures expected to persist. Amid a rise in mercury, the citizens are also punished with unannounced power outages and increased periods of loadshedding.

The development comes just a day after a high-level meeting was held Friday between the Sindh government and KE to discuss power supply and loadshedding in Karachi, a statement from the company said.

During the meeting, it was decided to form a joint committee consisting of the representatives of the Sindh government and K-Electric to address loadshedding and other issues of the city.

"The committee will jointly work on addressing public grievances, ensuring timely bill payments, and develop[ing] strategies to minimise load shedding and ensuring uninterrupted power supply in the city."