Friday December 03, 2021

AWP protests against load-shedding, overbilling

July 20, 2020

The Awami Workers Party’s central district on Sunday held a protest at the city’s Ayesha Manzil area against “the K-Electric’s profiteering, excessive load-shedding, overbilling, hike in unit rates and other tactics that increase charges such as slabs and fuel adjustment costs”.

The protest was joined by residents, traders, and shopkeepers of the area who got together to voice their agitation. This resulted in strong sloganeering by the people against KE.

Protesting elders said that in the latter part of life when they needed comfort and support, KE had made their lives miserable. Khurram Ali, AWP Karachi’s general secretary, said the Abraaj Group had made good profits from KE which could be seen in the annual report on their website.

“But the people of Karachi have been ruthlessly looted for private profit and unfortunately, the city, the provincial and the federal governments have been assisting KE in this looting,”

he said.

“Last year, it came to light that the Abraaj Group looted people's money by carrying out an equity scandal, but neither the city nor the provincial nor the federal government took any action against this group. The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation was Karachi’s asset which has been sold for pennies to a company that is using our own assets to rob us.”

AWP Karachi president Shafi Sheikh said: “We are being lied to that privatisation improves the situation in the country. The fact is that there must be public control over electricity, gas, water, and other resources, otherwise, the lust for a profit of these private companies will burn the country down.”

He said it was no secret that KE sold electricity at such a high price for its own profit that today half of Karachi's industries had sprung up in other cities of the country or Bangladesh and other countries. “The reason for such electric load-shedding is that it does not generate electricity from furnace oil under any pretext, while it does increase its bills in its name.” A large number of students also participated in the demonstration and their representatives spoke to the participants.