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March 30, 2018

City Council condemns ‘Nepra-KE collusion against Karachi’


March 30, 2018

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) City Council has condemned the alleged collusion between the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and the K-Electric against the city.

Among the 14 resolutions passed in Thursday’s session with majority vote, the one against the KE and Nepra called for the power company and the regulatory body to stop their alleged enmity with the people of the city.

Before the session was convened, the council’s opposition members staged a protest against Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar at the ground floor of the old KMC building, asking him to account for the Rs8 billion that, according to his earlier announcement, were to be spent on the city’s development.

They said the council had lost confidence in the mayor. When asked if the members would move a vote of no confidence against Akhtar, opposition leader Karamullah Waqasi said they had written to the local government secretary seeking his advice.

After the day’s proceedings began, many opposition members walked out of the session as part of their earlier demonstration against the mayor. The protesters claimed that Akhtar was not providing funds to union committee chairmen out of the Rs2.5 million allocated for the city.

They asked the mayor how the elected representatives were supposed to work for their respective areas without funds. Akhtar later ordered expunging the opposition’s indecent remarks against him from the record of the proceedings of the City Council session. He continued the sitting with the remaining members.

MQM-backed UC-34 (Turk Colony, District West) Chairman Zahid Mehmood presented the Nepra-KE resolution that termed the power company’s activities and decisions “enmity with the people of Karachi”. The resolution demanded that the KE end unannounced load-shedding in the city considering the hot weather.

Endorsing the resolution that was passed unanimously by the remaining members, the mayor pointed out that the power company was carrying out load-shedding during the night as well, and called for an end to the “unjustified and unwarranted” practice.

The resolution demands that Nepra and the KE withdraw their allegedly controversial decisions, claiming that the Nepra-KE collusion is crushing the people of the city under mounting debts.

The council members condemned the KE’s recent policy of installing three-phase meters at 120-square-yard houses and another meter at houses with four meters, the responsibility of paying the installation fees of which is of the consumer.

Mangla Sharma of the MQM claimed that the electric company routinely shuts down power supply to several areas on the pretext of illegal connections, even when the localities enduring load-shedding have been paying their bills.

Another KE resolution that was passed by all the members present called for the power company to provide a concession of 25 per cent to a consumer who pays their utility charges in full.

Sindh Food Authority

Regarding the Sindh Food Authority that was established recently, Mayor Akhtar said the KMC has a functional food department and it should be merged with the provincial government’s new body.

Criticising the Sindh Building Control Authority and the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board for allegedly allowing ill-planned high-rises, the mayor said the new food authority would also fail to do anything useful for people.

  Culling of stray dogs

The council members also passed a resolution demanding that stray dogs be culled to curb the number of dog bite cases across the metropolitan city. Akhtar said 100 to 150 dog bite cases are reported daily in the city, adding that the KMC has made arrangements with the Indus Hospital to cull stray dogs.

He said that different NGOs raise a hue and cry against the culling of stray dogs and say that the practice is inhumane. He added that the animals are killed through injections, and that the WHO has provided KMC workers proper training to reduce the number of stray dogs.  

Pakistan Super League

Another resolution was passed with majority vote to laud the KMC and other related agencies for making the final match of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) third edition this past Sunday a success. The MQM’s Tehseen Abidi lamented that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had allegedly ignored the mayor’s efforts for making the PSL final a success and once again making Karachi the ‘City of Lights’.

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