KARACHI: For the past eight days, operations at the Edhi morgue in Korangi have come to a standstill as power supply has reportedly been suspended by K-Electric (K-E).
According to Anwar Kazmi, spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation, operations will restart after resumption of power supply but for the last eight days there has been no electricity at the morgue and no one from the power utility has responded to their complaints.
Kazmi said a transformer in the area was replaced by K-E and ever since, power supply has either been non-existent or, on the rare occasions the morgue receives electricity, there is low voltage. He added that despite the fact that K-E was approached regarding the matter and several complaints were filed, the power utility failed to understand the sensitive nature of the issue and did not restore electricity.
He added that running heavy-duty air conditioners when the electrical voltage keeps fluctuating can damage the air conditioners, therefore the foundation decided to halt operations on a temporary basis until proper power supply is resumed.
According to Kazmi, the morgue has a capacity of 32 bodies and not a single day passes when there are less than 30 at the facility. This underscores the importance of the morgue, he said.
For now, he said, they have sent the bodies to the Edhi morgues in Sohrab Goth and Moosa Lane for storage. As soon as power supply is resumed the morgue will be back in operation, he assured.
The Express Tribune also contacted Saad Edhi, the grandson of late philanthropist and Edhi Foundation founder Abdul Sattar Edhi, who said that despite paying their bills on time, they are facing this terrible situation.
Saad said they make sure to pay their bills on time in order to avoid hindrances to their operations, as morgues quite obviously require high-powered air conditioning to preserve the bodies.
“Our morgues have played an important role in the past during terror attacks or natural calamities. We fear that another such situation may emerge at a time when the foundation has been limited to only two of its morgues,” said Saad.
There has been no power supply at Edhi morgue since past eight days. PHOTO: EXPRESS
He said their morgues are filled with unidentified bodies or bodies stored by families who are waiting for close relatives to arrive before burying their loved ones.
However, K-E claimed that power supply to the Edhi morgue in Korangi was not disconnected by K-E nor was any outage reported.
Upon receiving complaints, the teams were mobilised and the fault turned out to be an internal one, Sadia Dada, the power utility’s director of marketing and communications said.
The K-E team alerted the morgue staff of the fault and it was then rectified, the official claimed, adding that K-E respects Abdul Sattar Edhi and the institution immensely and extends all possible support to it.
Dada added that K-E treats any and all queries from the Edhi Foundation with utmost priority and works closely with the foundation on social initiatives as well. Our employees spent last Eid with the children at the Edhi shelter, said Dada.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s MPA Khurram Sher Zaman, who is also a member of the parliamentary committee on K-E, condemned the power break down at the Edhi morgue. He said that he had contacted the chief staff officer of K-E, Faisal Jehangri, who had assured him that power supply would be resumed within a couple of hours.
Zaman said the K-E management had apologised for the power failure and said that they were unaware that the morgue was located in the area and promised to be more careful in the future.
The MPA criticised the Sindh government saying it does not care about such issues because their family members or relatives are not assisted by the Edhi Foundation.
He praised the efforts of the foundation and said that they are doing the government’s job, be it via their nationwide ambulance service, old age home, orphanages or morgues.
Zaman said that whenever there is a terrorism or natural disaster-related tragedy, everyone looks towards the Edhi Foundation rather than the government. Government officials and rulers should learn from a philanthropist like the late Abdul Sattar Edhi, his family and the whole Edhi Foundation about how to serve humanity selflessly, he said.