Monday May 29, 2023

JI stages over 100 demos to highlight water, power woes of Karachiites

By Our Correspondent
May 14, 2022

The Jamaat-e-Islami’s Karachi chapter staged protest demonstrations at over 100 places across the city on Friday against the electricity and water crises affecting the city.

The main demonstration was held outside a mosque at Lasbela Chowk, where protesters, carrying placards and banners, chanted slogans against the K-Electric, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and the government.

Following the demonstration, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman told a press conference that over 100 demonstrations were being staged across the city against water shortage and power outages.

He said that the JI had announced a 48-hour deadline to end the persisting loadshedding in Karachi. “Out of the total 48 hours, only 24 hours are left and after the deadline the JI will call for laying a siege to the KE head office if the power company failed to significantly curtail the loadshedding,” he said.

He said federal minister Khurram Dastagir had claimed that the country had become loadshedding-free. “Please someone let the federal minister know that Karachi is also a part of the country and Karachiites are still facing acute loadshedding in its worst form,” Rehamn said and demanded of the government to conduct a forensic audit of the company’s accounts for the past 17 years.

He also demanded of the federal government to ensure reimbursement of Rs42 billion in clawback by the KE. The JI leader said the Karachi and Karachiites had been facing loadshedding of up to 14 hours despite the ongoing heat wave, and that the situation had become unacceptable.

He said the then KESC was privatised to bring about improvement in its functions, but instead of any betterment the company had been showing the worst performance and ironically enjoying all perks and shelter from successive ruling regimes.

He alleged that the KE had been violating the agreement with the state since day one, but governments in the country always supported it because of the reasons known only by the leadership of the PPP, MQM, PTI and PML-N.

Rehman said Karachiites, particularly students who were about to appear in the annual matriculation examinations as well as the labour class, were suffering because of “unlimited greed and incompetence” of the KE.

He demanded of the government to end the monopoly of the company and offer the licence for other companies as well. He further said that sometimes the KE always felt free to cut power supply connections of its customers just for late payments and that it itself had failed to pay billions of rupees to a public sector gas company.

Junaid Mukati, the former parliamentary leader of the JI in the city council, also addressed the presser. He said once the JI had tabled a resolution in the council to revoke the licence of the KE, but the then greedy leaders had failed the resolution.