KARACHI: The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar on Thursday questioned what measures Karachi-Electric (KE) has taken so far to end load-shedding in Karachi.
“When will load-shedding end in the metropolis,” the CJP asked while hearing a case pertaining to the city’s power crisis at apex court’s Karachi Registry. “When and how will the KE increase power generation capacities to the city?” he questioned.
He directed the sole power distributor to submit an affidavit in response to his questions with the court in a week’s time. “KE should give a written statement assuring that power plants will not be shut,” he remarked.
Justice Nisar further warned that if the power crisis was not resolved even after the affidavit’s submission, then an inquiry would be conducted against KE.
“Till when will the people of Karachi have to suffer the wrath of unannounced and prolonged load-shedding?” he continued to inquire.
KE’s chief distribution officer informed the court that they are taking measures to increase power generation. “We are also investing to curb the power crisis,” he said.
However, judicial assistant Advocate Faisal Siddiqui said, “He is lying. KE is neither increasing power generation nor is reducing load-shedding.”
“National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) issued a show-cause notice to KE but the situation still has not improved,” Siddiqui maintained.
To this, KE’s counsel said, “The demand for electricity is 3,500MW but only 2,950MW is being generated.” He said that load-shedding is being done in three categories ranging from three to seven-and-a-half hours depending on the area.
At this, the CJP remarked, “The reason for load-shedding is not ‘kunda’ system but mismanagement.”
Questioning the measures taken against kunda system, Justice Nisar told the KE counsel, “Electricity cannot be pilfered without your workers’ assistance.”
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah on the occasion asked, “What is the fault of those who are paying bills that they are being rendered without electricity?”
“According to NEPRA, residents of Liaquatabad suffer up to 14 hours of load-shedding, while Korangi and Orangi face 18-hour power outages on a daily basis,” he said.
Directing KE and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) to submit affidavits within a week, the court adjourned the hearing of the case until June 26.
CJP ORDERS REMOVAL OF ADVERTISEMENTS FROM WALLS FOR DEFENCE PURPOSES:
Separately, the CJP ordered removal of advertisements from walls built for defence purposes in the metropolis.
He was hearing on a plea related to the construction of walls with advertisements at the Supreme Court where both the representatives from the Karachi Cantonment Board and Outdoors Advertisers Association were present.
Cantonment Board officials informed the court that on its directives, most of the walls with advertisements have been demolished, including those built within the limits of Faisal Cantt.
The court ordered the relevant authorities to remove advertisements from walls built for defence purposes, in addition to demolishing the walls with advertisements constructed all over the city.