KARACHI: Power outages continued to affect daily life in the port city on Saturday as Karachi’s power supplier K-Electric’s promise of ending load-shedding within “48 hours” failed to come into affect.
Areas in the city experienced 8 to 12 hours of persistent power outages, adding to the misery of residents already suffering from the sweltering temperatures.
Korangi, PECHS, Gulistan-e-Johar, Shah Faisal, Malir, Lyrai, Landhi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, FB Area were among the areas reported to have power outages. Other areas of the city were reported to be without power for three to seven hours throughout the day.
KE on Friday had assured authorities that it would end load-shedding in the metropolis in the next 48 hours after it was announced that the power company would be provided with an additional supply of gas and furnace oil.
The assurances were given to Governor Sindh Imran Ismail by CEO KE Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi in a meeting held today at the Governor House.
“Loadshedding will start reducing after 24 hours and will end in next 48 hrs,” Ismail had said after the meeting, adding that the federal government would provide additional furnace oil to KE.
He said that additional gas up to 100 mmcfd from the Sui Southern Gas Company will be provided to the KE to ease the pressure of furnace oil shortage.
The issue of frequent power cuts, which was initially reported from the slum and underdeveloped areas of the city, has now engulfed the entire Karachi, including the upscale localities such as Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and PECHS.
The blame game between KE, the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and federal and provincial governments have exacerbated without resolution over the last week.
Citing reasons behind the load-shedding, KE, the sole power supplier to the city, said that they had been receiving 50 mmcfd RLNG less from the SSGC while the peak demand had crossed 3,450 megawatts in the city with the furnace oil also short in the market.
The SSGC, however, categorically refuted the KE’s claim and said that it had been supplying an additional 50 mmcfd RLNG to the power utility.
During this tussle between the gas and power utilities, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh lambasted the federal government for the power crisis in the city, saying that it has been the latter’s incompetence that has deprived the Karachi residents of power during the lockdown period when the power consumption in factories and markets is already low.
The Sindh energy minister took strong notice of the load-shedding in the city and said it was the incompetence of the federal government that had been making the people of Karachi suffer.
“Who is responsible for the shortage of furnace oil and gas?” he asked and demanded an inquiry into the matter. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) should inquire into why the furnace oil was not imported before summer, Sheikh said.