KARACHI: As the mercury rises in the city, so do the temperatures of the residents, who took to the streets on Wednesday after could no longer bear the continous load-shedding and the lack of water.
According to the Pakistan Metrological department, the mercury touched 38 degree celsius and will continue to rise over the next few days. The residents blamed the government for not preventing the water and electricity crises.
The protesters blocked the roads for hours and demanded immediate restoration of the utilities. The police were called in to disperse the enraged groups of protestors at several locations, including Surjani Town, New Karachi, North Nazimabad, Baldia, Keamari, SITE, Liaquatabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Landhi and Korangi.
“The city’s political parties – who claim to be representatives of Karachi – have become silent spectators of its most dire crises,” said a protester in New Karachi. He said that while the city’s water and electricity distributers are fighting with each other, its citizens continue to be deprived of these basic utilities.
For their part, the K-Electric spokesperson claimed that load-shedding is being carried out according to the national policy and also because of non-payment of bills.
He also said that KE has disconnected electricity supply to most areas where the residents had not paid their bills.
The water shortage is another catalyst for the protests. “People become helpless in these calamities. Our children are preparing for their exams amid severe load-shedding,” complained another protester in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
The spokesperson of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board said that, as of this week, the Water and Power Development Authority has decreased production of upto 100MGD to the city from Hub Dam.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2014.