Electricity outages have once again gained momentum across Karachi ahead of Muharram processions, leaving citizens in a miserable state. Federal minister Faisal Subzwari is of the opinion that the power utility is not running its plants at capacity.
However, the city’s power supplier K-Electric said they have been following the scheduled load management announced on June 30. The KE spokesperson said the city is facing a 400MW shortfall.
The spokesperson said KE is getting 1,000MW from the national grid, adding that since the shortfall has continued for 24 hours, the power utility has had to resort to load management during the night hours.
The duration of load-shedding has increased to 14 hours, with some areas being subjected to 16 hours of outages. Even the areas previously exempted from load-shedding have been experiencing prolonged unannounced power outages.
The areas facing a severe power crisis include North Karachi, Surjani Town, Shadman Town, Buffer Zone, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lyari, Saddar, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, DHA, Clifton, Ibrahim Hyderi, II Chundrigar Road and Shah Faisal Town.
The DHA, Clifton and PIB Colony neighbourhoods have been facing six to eight hours of load-shedding, while the Shah Faisal, Landhi and Malir areas have been facing eight hours of load-shedding.
Subzwari said in a tweet that the supply of 1,000MW of electricity from the national grid to KE is continuing, as he has spoken with the federal secretary of the Power Division.
He added that if excessive load-shedding across Karachi still persists, it shows that KE is not running its plants at capacity. He stressed the power company must act as a service, lamenting that it is continuously failing to do so.
An Incholi resident said they had been repeatedly assured by the authorities that there would not be power outages during the first 10 days of Muharram, but the locals continued to face intermittent power failures even during a Majlis (gathering).
A Gulistan-e-Jauhar resident complained that his locality faces six to 10 hours of power outages on a daily basis. “We arrange Majlis at our place, and it becomes very difficult for us to carry on during power outages.”
He added that the price of petrol has already skyrocketed, so it is very difficult for them to keep running the power generator after every two to three hours. Ayesha Manzil resident Syed Askari said there was no power at his house on Friday night. “Intermittent power outages lasted until 8am the next day,” he said. He lamented that the power outage also resulted in a water crisis for his family.
A resident of Surjani Town also complained that there is a power outage in their locality after every two to three hours, and it lasts for three to three-and-a-half hours.
Gulistan-e-Jauhar resident Khawaja Burhan said that when he reaches home from work after a nine-hour shift and a tiring day, there is no electricity at his place. He said there is no water in the line; the roads of the city are completely broken and need immediate repair; the traffic is exhausting. “Life in this city is no less than a nightmare!”
A press statement issued by KE reads that the power company has been providing electricity to its customers in accordance with the schedule updated on its website on June 30. According to the KE spokesperson, the power utility has not made any changes in the load-shedding schedule and is following the schedule announced on June 30. “Load-shedding of electricity during the late hours is indispensable due to the shortfall that persisted for 24 hours.”
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