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June 27, 2020

Persisting power cuts pile on misery of residents, industrialists

Karachi

June 27, 2020

Unabated power loadshedding in the city is making the residents and traders exasperated, but the power utility, K-Electric, has linked the outages with a demand-and-supply gap and a shortage of furnace oil.

Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) president Sheikh Umer Rehan demanded of the government to take action against unannounced loadshedding in the industrial areas of the city. He said that the shortages of furnace oil and gas to the KE were a question mark on the performance of the energy ministry.

He said the people of Karachi were in sheer misery due to the electricity loadshedding. As for the industries which had already been grappling with the impact of the lockdown, he said, they were facing an intensified crisis in the shape of loadshedding. “Our production is being affected in a worse manner,” he pointed out, adding that on the one hand, the patients of coronavirus were vulnerable to the power outages, and on the hand, the industries were facing huge economic losses.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s Korangi leadership held a protest outside the KE’s head office in DHA. The protest was led by PTI’s Member of National Assembly Fahim Khan and Member of Provincial Assembly Raja Izhar.

Public’s plight

The public continued to suffer the most due to the loadshedding. One of the residents of Askari IV shared how they were facing power outages twice a day of one hour each.

Residents of Teen Hatti and Martin Road are also facing at least four power cuts a day of three hours each under scheduled loadshedding. However, the timings of the loadshedding keep changing without any information, a resident complained while talking to The News on Friday.

The situation in North Karachi is worse. One of the residents shared with The News how his house had no power at all on Friday. “It came for two hours only during the Jumma prayer in Sector 11-A of North Karachi,” he said, adding that their lives had become a misery. “The generators and the UPS don’t work in such long hours of power outages.”

The situation is not different in Nazimabad, North Nazimabad and the District East’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Even the Shah Faisal Colony and Korangi’s residential areas are facing the worst power outages.

“We have no option but to block the roads and all the industrial goods’ movement through Korangi,” said one of the residents, Faisal Qureshi. “We have neither water nor power. What do they [authorities] think of us?” he asked.

Sindh’s energy minister, Imtiaz Sheikh, said in a statement that the KE’s claims of power outages due to a shortage of furnace oil seemed to be false. He said the power utility’s system constrains were a major hurdle in an uninterrupted power supply.

He said that it was unfortunate that the sole power supplier of the city couldn’t upgrade its system, and due to this it was facing difficulties during the peak demand hours.