Ashura arrangements - No load-shedding for 2 days: KESC

Power utility contradicts city administrator’s claims on Muharram arrangements.

Ppi December 16, 2010

KARACHI: There will be no load-shedding on the 9th and 10th of Muharram Thursday and Friday, announced the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) in a press release on Wednesday.

In order to make sure that majalis or mourning gathering in all major imambargarhs take place smoothly, KESC has also exempted 150 feeders from load-shedding after 6 pm during the first eight days of Muharram. The list of these feeders and other arrangements were finalised in a meeting between KESC, city government officials and police officials on November 27, said the statement.

The officials were informed that all areas of the city will be exempted from load-shedding on December 16 and December 17.

The power utility company made all Muharram-specific arrangements in collaboration with the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and the provincial administration. Since the city administrator Lala Fazlur Rehman denied these arrangements at a news conference on Tuesday, KESC officials expressed their surprise in the press release.

The KESC statement further explained that officials of the company and CDGK representatives finalised Muharram arrangements on December 14. They surveyed feeding points for streetlights that fall on the routes of major Ashura processions. According to the survey, 54 streetlight switches were checked on Tuesday and there are 31 feeders supplying electricity to them.

KESC has also deployed special teams to remain on standby at all major points to provide maintenance services when required. Around 20 mobile generators have also been provided at important locations to meet any emergencies. KESC teams will also accompany main mourning processions along their entire routes as well.

Medical blocks

Even doctors have not been exempted from the extra security measures taken ahead of 9th and 10th Muharram. The police have refused to issue security passes to doctors of all hospitals situated along MA Jinnah Road, including Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), because of security reasons.

MA Jinnah Road has been closed for three days for traffic while shops and markets along the road have been sealed in view of security arrangements for the Ashura processions. Security officials closed all entry and exit points by placing containers, erecting barriers and parking buses and water tankers.

Dozens of vehicles of the Rangers, police, intelligence agencies and ambulances have been issued special stickers so that they have access to the routes of the main mourning procession.

According to sources, the administration of CHK and Police Surgeon Office had submitted applications asking for security passes for their doctors and paramedical staff but the police told them that they could not issue passes to such a large number of hospital staff.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmad said he was going to ask the home secretary to allow the doctors to cross MA Jinnah Road. However, there is also the possibility of using other routes to get to their hospitals, he added.

Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Ali Mirza directed police to ensure deployment of special commandos of the Anti-Terrorism Force on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. Mirza directed the Capital City Police Officer Karachi, regional police officers of Sukkur and Hyderabad to remain in contact with the senior officials of Rangers. He also imposed a ban on wall chalking and provocative banners and pamphlets.

Hospitals on red alert

The major tertiary care hospitals in Karachi have chalked out contingency plans for the three crucial days of Muharram. Karachi police have deputed a contingent of 20 policemen at the CHK from 8th Muharram to the 10th of Muharram.

CHK Medical Superintendent Prof Said Qureshi said CHK is very close to the route of the processions and was prepared to handle any situation. “CHK security guards, comprising around 100 trained personnel, will be performing their duties in two shifts,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2010.


Ameer Hamza | 10 years ago | Reply Well, there was load shedding of about 2 hours yesterday morning. And again for 15 minutes after maghrib prayers. So KESC is again lying.
Mustafa | 10 years ago | Reply The interesting thing to note here is that when there really is a short fall of electricity, how is KESC able to provide non-stop electricity on special occasions. Where does it fulfills demand and supply gap on special days such as Moharram. If KESC can survive without loadshedding on these days, what happens on regular days, specially the holidays such as Sundays even on which loadshedding is maintained.
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