The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has failed to live up to its promise of ensuring uninterrupted power supply to consumers during sehri, iftari and taraweeh hours.
Earlier, it had announced to reschedule loadshedding hours to provide relief to the people in the holy month of Ramazan. “Instead of focusing on revenue generation, the power utility should improve its infrastructure to offer relief to the people,” a resident of North Nazimabad, Muhammad Humayon. “After privatisation, they have been earning billion of rupees but still they cannot improve their technical infrastructure and the distribution system.”
Since Ramazan started, various areas of the Karachi, including North Nazimabad, New Karachi, Gulistan-e-Juhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal, are experiencing unannounced load-shedding, compelling people to open fast without electricity.
However, an official of the KESC, Adil Murtaza, denied that the power utility was resorting to any loadshedding during sehri and iftari hours. He explained that these areas were suffering from power cuts due to the tripping of feeders because of being overburdened.
“Even in high loss areas, we are not switching off electricity during sehri and iftari timings. From 6pm to 11 pm and from 2am to 7pm, we are trying to ensure power supply across the city,” Murtaza added.
The KESC official said that these areas were facing load-shedding due to electricity theft by people living in slum areas during iftari time, causing the entire vicinity to plunge into darkness.
On Friday night, infuriated residents of Karimabad took to the streets and blocked a road to protest against the prolonged power cuts. “Since morning, we have been without electricity. This inhumane act should be stopped by the government,” said a protester.
He demanded the nationalisation of the power utility, and said that the power crises have become worse with time and there was no relief in sight.
On the other hand, a pole-mounted transformer (PMT) of North Nazimabad Block-P developed a technical fault because of being overburdened for two days. The area continued to suffer from power crises, according to the residents.
The protester said that a slum area behind the North Nazimbad Block-P was involved in electricity theft, adding that despite filing several applications at the KESC office for the installation of a new PMT, no action had been taken.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2013.
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