Karachi — the city of lights — is lifeless

Extended hours of load shedding coupled with the sweltering summer conditions have exacerbated human misery

Editorial April 23, 2018

The citizens of the great megalopolis are besieged by the unending dispute between the K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). The stalemate between the two utilities has resulted in crippling power outages in the city. Extended hours of load shedding coupled with the sweltering summer conditions have exacerbated human misery across the city.

The ongoing feud between K-Electric and SSGC began last month when the gas supplier declined additional supply to the energy provider. The request was made to meet an increase in electricity demand triggered by the rising mercury. Since then, the SSGC has been shuffling reasons for its refusal to provide the additional supplies.

The explanations range from reduced gas supplies from the field to eternal payments that K-Electric owes. Through it all, our hospitals, schools and industries are suffering. All in all, the power blackouts have taken a toll on life in the city. But what have our elected officials done so far?

The chief minister has repeatedly claimed to have intervened between the two warring service providers. He has also chastised federal entities for not doing enough to rescue the troubled city.

Interestingly, the response of the federal authorities has been inaudible. Ignoring weeks of suffering in Karachi, the national power regulator finally concluded an investigation and accused K-Electric of failing to provide uninterrupted power supply. And after much hue and cry from political parties and opponents, the prime minister has taken notice of the situation in the port city. It is about time that our governments -- both provincial and federal -- take the power crisis in Karachi seriously. The people of Karachi are in dire need of bipartisan will and support to resolve the matter that has virtually sucked the life out of the city of lights. Karachi and its people need your help -- now more than ever.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2018.

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