Electricity consumers staged protests in different areas of the city against prolonged power outages of K-Electric and demanded of the government and regulatory authorities to save them from this annoying load shedding in the holy month of Ramzan.
Protestors said Saturday was perhaps the hottest day of Ramadan in the history of Karachi as mercury hit 44 C, but K-Electric did not let go any opportunity on this hot day to carry out extra/unannounced load shedding in different parts of the city in various timings, despite making tall claims just before Ramadan not to trouble citizens in this holy month.
Opposition Leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan in Sindh Assembly said load shedding on first Ramadan was carried out in over 70 percent of the areas in the city. He raised concern over maltreatment of KE to Karachiites. PTI leader of the opposition Khuram Sherzaman, and PPPP senior ministers Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Murad Ali Shah also expressed concern on excessive load shedding.
People were compelled to do Sehri and Iftar without electricity. People in Azizabad, Jail Chowrangi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaquatabad and Old Sabzi Mandi put tyres on fire and blocked main arteries in protest against the KE. Some people reportedly fainted due to scorching heat. It was complained that the KE complaint center was not responding despite making repeated complaints.
The protestors said the KE seemed to become unbridled which has greatly affected the whole life of over 65 percent revenue generating city of Pakistan. Karachiites demand the KE to be put in check. Prayers, businesses, households, education, markets and social life all have been disturbed. They asked the NEPRA to take record from the KE about the running of its power generation units. They blamed that the KE was looting the electricity consumers of Karachi by purchasing electricity from the national grid on cheap rates and selling it to the Karachiites on higher rates. They asked to stop this unethical corporate profiteering of the K-Electric.
Rukhtaj Awan, a housewife, said it had become much difficult without electricity to prepare Iftar or Sehri for her family. Zaheer Ahmed, a security officer, on leaves at his house in Karachi, said in absence of electricity you instantly turn to curse the government and wish to thrash the people at the helm of affairs.
Arsalan Ali, an unemployed young graduate, said outages had added woes to his worries. Due to unemployment, he had to perform the role of administrator at his house. He had to extra take care of his generator’s maintenance and constantly check the supply of electricity.
Shadab Syed, a university student of international relations, said she thought she could take the opportunity of leaves to excel in her class by preparing in advance for her subjects; however her dream appeared to be shattering in sizzling hot weather with no electricity. In different parts of the city, the citizens faced over 12 and 24 hours power breakdown whether deliberate or due to some technical fault. However, the KE puts blame on Sui Southern Gas Company for low gas pressure, while SSGC wants its huge amount of arrears back from the KE.