'Loadshedding adding extra burden on already suffering economy'

Businessmen condemn power outages in Karachi

​ Our Correspondent June 28, 2020
Blackout loadshedding load shedding PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Businessmen from different industrial sectors have urged the government to work on resolving the hours-long load-shedding being faced by their units every day, which has imposed an additional burden on the already suffering economy.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan expressed deep concerns over the poor performance of K-Electric, which has led to occasional blackouts in all seven industrial zones of Karachi on a daily basis.

He urged the power utility company to immediately halt the ongoing load-shedding spell and focus on improving the infrastructure particularly the power generation capacity and distribution network, which is in a deplorable state. He highlighted that industrial units are already struggling to recover from the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns and the power outages was elevating their troubles.

“Load-shedding threatens the survival of the already damaged industrial units.” The KCCI president was of the view that the unannounced and prolonged load-shedding will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of industries and the economy. He suggested K-Electric to adopt measures on war footing to minimise the hardships being faced by the citizens and the business community.

KCCI president said that the electricity provider itself has been earning massive profits but it has failed to invest in improving the dilapidated distribution network. On the other hand, Pakistan Cloth Merchants Association Chairman Ahmed Chinoy has requested the federal government to take immediate steps to end the load-shedding. Consumers are complaining of overbilling and the company has said that electricity consumption has increased because many people are working from home, the official lamented.

K-Electric version

When contacted, the K-Electric spokesperson said, “K-Electric depends on third party suppliers for its fuelling needs to run power plants. While average demand has peaked close to 3,200MW, the company can amicably meet the consumption needs with its production capacity if supply of furnace oil and gas remains consistent and at levels required to run our plants at full capacity.”

“While K-Electric is fully cognizant of the challenging situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the power utility has consistently highlighted the difficulties it has been facing with all relevant stakeholders. The power utility appreciates the support extended by the federal government to help resolve the ongoing issue. A consistent supply of fuel to K-Electric at required level will enable the company and its IPPs to meet energy needs of valued customers as soon as possible.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2020.

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