ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah said on Wednesday the government should take over K-Electric as the death toll from the deadly heatwave surpassed 780 in Karachi.
“The time has come for you [government] to take over K-Electric,” Shah said, while addressing the National Assembly.
"Pakistan Peoples Party will support the move," the opposition leader added, citing severe electricity cuts in the metropolis as the main reason for the deaths.
Read: No respite from heatwave: Death toll tops 700
Further, Shah said, "Deaths in Karachi due to the heat have become a national issue."
Shah alleged the K-Electric has a lot of spare electricity which it is not providing to the people. The opposition leader also stated that electricity theft should also be controlled and urged electricity consumers to pay the tariff.
Read: Two power plants of 2,100 MW to be set up in Karachi: Commerce minister
“Everyone should pay their electricity bills. And if anyone is stealing electricity, whether it’s me or some other politician, action should be taken against them,” Shah said.
Read: Opposition hold govt responsible for heatwave deaths, calls for day of mourning
Earlier on Friday, opposition parties in the National Assembly called for a day of mourning as the death toll from the deadly heatwave surpassed 500 in Karachi and lower Sindh.
“We call for a black day to mourn the deaths of those owing to the heatwave,” Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah said, while speaking to the media outside Parliament.
Holding the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government responsible for the deaths, Shah said, “The government has failed to fulfill its promises to provide electricity to the people during Ramazan.”
Govt not responsible for power shortfall
Further, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while addressing the National Assembly claimed the federal government is not responsible for the power shortfall in Karachi.
Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif. PHOTO: REUTERS
Read: To spare domestic consumers in Ramazan, industry must suffer
Lamenting deaths caused by a heatwave in the metropolis, Asif said, “K-Electric is responsible for providing electricity to Sindh and not the federal government.”
Further, Asif stated that the government is working on several projects to cope with the energy crisis and massive investment is being made in the country to improve the transmission system.
The defence minister said, “14,000 to 15,000 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid by 2018, while 1,020 MW will be added to the system during 2015-16, 4,692 MW in 2016-17 and 5,142 MW in 2018.”
“An additional 3,600 MW will also be generated through LNG.”
Further, Asif said the contract for the import of LNG with Qatar has not yet been signed but it will be below 14% of the Brent. He assured that Pakistan will import LNG at the lowest rate in Asia which will help save the country billions of rupees.