The Sindh government on Wednesday announced a reduction in power outages “within 24 hours”.
This was announced by Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Sheikh and provincial minister Saeed Ghani during a press conference fowling their meeting with K-Electric (KE) officials in Karachi. Terming the situation “extremely bad”, Imtiaz said that KE – the sole power distribution company in the metropolis – has outstanding dues to pay to Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). However, he added, the clearance of the amount would require three to six months.
He said that he has urged the SSGC officials to increase the gas pressure to KE which was reduced due to the non-payment of the dues, adding that KE also has dues which need to be paid by different departments including KW&SB. Referring to recent street protests, the provincial minister said that the law and order in the city is being affected due to load-shedding in this intense heat, adding that KE should accept its responsibility. “What other options do people have other than protest? KE must get its act together and provide relief to the masses,” he added.
Sheikh said that the government was considering different options to reduce the load-shedding in the port city, adding that the country was witnessing a shortfall of up to 7,000 MW. The minister also urged the police to go easy on the demonstrators as it was their right to protest.
The meeting with the K-E official was attended by Saeed Ghani, MNA Nabil Gabol, MPA Javed Nagori and other high-ranking government officials.
The government side expressed their displeasure over the load-shedding situation in the city and KE’s performance. The participants were of the opinion that why should the people and their elected representatives bear the burden of KE’s failures. Ghani said that the city was witnessing power outages of 14 to 20 hours, leading to water scarcity as well.