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Monday November 29, 2021

Sindh Assembly unanimously condemns load-shedding in Karachi

July 28, 2020

The Sindh Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the persisting electricity crisis in Karachi and instances of inflated power bills sent to power consumers in the city.

The resolution was jointly presented by representatives of various parliamentary groups in the house. Speaking on the resolution, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Mohammad Hussain Khan suggested to the government that it rescind the licence of the privatised K-Electric for its failure to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the residents of Karachi.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan lawmaker Mufti Qasim Fakhari demanded a forensic audit of accounts of the power utility’s management. Another MQM-P MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan was of the view that permission should be granted to more companies for the transmission and distribution of electricity in the city. He said the Sindh government should approach the federal government in this regard.

He also demanded that duties levied on equipment used in availing solar technology for electricity production should be withdrawn by the government.

Corona law amended

Meanwhile, the House also unanimously passed the Sindh Corona Emergency Relief (Amendment) Bill 2020. Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla tabled the bill that envisaged a system of providing financial subsistence by the Sindh government to daily wage earners and labourers whose lives had been adversely affected due to the coronavirus emergency in the province.

According to the bill, the time spent by the employed people in isolation after they got infected with the novel coronavirus would be considered as their leave from duty. The approved bill also prescribed that any deduction from the salaries of such employees related to their isolation period due to the coronavirus infection would be considered as an unlawful act.

The bill also makes it binding upon the people to wear masks in public places.

PTI’s walkout

Opposition legislators belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) staged a walkout from the house after the speaker did not allow them to discuss the emergency situation in Karachi due to the heavy monsoon spell.

The leader of the opposition in the House belonging to the PTI, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, said they should be allowed to discuss the rain-related situation in the city as they had learnt that the session of the assembly would soon be prorogued by the speaker.

Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani asked the opposition leader how he had learnt about his likely move to prorogue the session, to which he replied that they had contacts in the Governor House from whom they had learnt that. The speaker said he would complain to Governor Imran Ismail that things related to such confidential matters were being leaked from the Governor House.

Water demand

Parliamentary Secretary of the PA on Local Government Saleem Baloch informed the House that the water supply need of Karachi was around 900 million gallons per day and the city was being supplied water from Keenjhar Lake and Hub Dam.

The parliamentary secretary, however, conceded that the water supply needs of the city were not being adequately met. Earlier, speaking on her call attention notice, PTA MPA Adeeba Hassan said that people of Karachi had been facing an agonising situation owing to the acute water shortage.

She added that it was high time the Sindh government should tell the people of Karachi how much more time was required to overcome the shortage of water in the city. Meanwhile, speaking during the question hour, Baloch said if the local government system of 2001 was excellent, why it had not been so far implemented in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (where the PTI has been ruling). He maintained that elected local government representatives and municipal agencies in the province possessed all the powers as prescribed in the constitution.