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June 29, 2020

Hand K-Electric over to Sindh govt, demand Lyari protesters

Karachi

June 29, 2020

K-Electric continued to make the lives of the people of Karachi miserable as the power company carried out announced and unannounced load-shedding in different parts of the city on a hot and humid Sunday.

Organised by the Lyari Awami Mahaz, a demonstration against the electricity situation was held in Lyari’s Chakiwara Awami Park, where the protesters demanded that KE’s control be handed over to the Sindh government.

“Most of the residents of Lyari Town are from the labour class,” said one of the protesters, adding that the intermittent and incessant power cuts lasting between 10 and 12 hours have made the lives of the people miserable.

The protesters said that there was no one out there to look after the residents of Lyari, so they had no other option but to take to the streets to agitate.

They said that load-shedding late in the night has been affecting their heath because they cannot sleep. “Despite the government’s heavy subsidy, the power utility has failed to provide any relief to the people of Karachi,” said a protester, adding that the KE’s load-shedding during the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing but cruelty.

Other parts of the city also reported disruption in the supply of power. They included Korangi, Shah Faisal Colony, North Karachi, Malir, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Federal B Area.

After it was announced that KE would be provided with an additional supply of gas and furnace oil, the power company had assured the authorities on Friday that it would end load-shedding in the metropolis within the next 48 hours.

The assurances were given to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail by KE CEO Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi in a meeting at the Governor House. “Load-shedding will start reducing after 24 hours and will end in the next 48 hours,” Ismail had said after the meeting.

He said the federal government would provide additional furnace oil to KE. He also said that additional gas up to 100 mmcfd from the Sui Southern Gas Company would be provided to KE to ease the pressure of furnace oil shortage.

Improvement

The power company said in a statement that with better supply of fuel, the supply of electricity was gradually improving. KE said that the areas exempted from load-shedding were now not in their load-management areas. If the fuel supply continues, power supply will continue uninterrupted, it added.

As for Lyari, the statement said the area had several illegal connections. The company said KE inspector and law enforcers recently dismantled 180 illegal connections running on generators in different areas of Lyari. With these connections, it added, residential and industrial areas were getting power illegally.

KE pointed out that the illegal wires and generators attached to the KE’s electric infrastructure can be fatal for citizens. The company said it is continuing its operation against internet and TV cables as well as other infrastructure on their electric system.

The power company rejected all claims of over-billing, saying that all the billings are done under a regulatory regime and the consumers are charged according to their respective meters’ readings.