The scorching sun continues to blaze over Karachi with no respite from the sea winds
The scorching sun continues to blaze over Karachi with no respite from the sea winds. As citizens swelter in the still, humid air that has reigned over the city, K-Electric has only added to their woes. Karachites are left to reckon with the recent heat spell while the power utility company carries out unscheduled, unannounced load shedding across the port city. Localities previously exempt from load shedding due to high recovery of utility bills are not spared either this summer.
The areas worst hit - due to faults in PMT and cable lines, claims KE - include Lyari, Usmanabad, Gulbahar, Shoemarket Garden, Agra Taj, Sher Shah, SITE area, Baldia, Gulshan-e-Hadid, Gadap, Malir, Memon Goth, Shah Latif Town, Quaidabad, Landhi and Korangi. The localities are experiencing three to 12 hours of load shedding daily.
Meanwhile, Kemari, Surjani Town, Orangi Town, Banaras and Qasba Colony are also without power for hours each day.
KE has claimed that no load shedding is being carried out in areas which have been exempted - typically high recovery areas - yet power outages continue to plague residents of those areas too.
Load-shedding has reportedly peaked to 15 hours a day in Karachi. Areas previously being subjected to seven to nine hours of load-shedding are now experiencing 12-hour to 15-hour long power outages, allegedly due to a rise in electricity theft in these localities.
According to sources KE, who asked not to be named, over 20,000 complaints pertaining to various issues are lodged daily at the power utility. They further claimed while the demand for electricity has surged in the city due to rising temperatures, the utility has made no arrangements to deal with the situation.
To add to it, residents of various areas have complained of inflated bills, maintaining that they were doubled for the month of June amid long hours of power outages.
Irate, they criticised KE for only focusing on generating revenue and not increasing its electricity production capacity. Several protests have also broken out against the power utility.
Earlier, the metropolis would be supplied electricity by the government-run Karachi Electric Supply Company, worth trillions of rupees. However, the giant was sold to a private entity and renamed KE.
Over the years, the private power utility has been able to do little to resolve the city's electricity problems, and instead, has persistently failed to deliver and meet Karachi's electricity needs of 3,400 megawatts.
While a KE spokesperson attributed the electricity crisis to the shortage of furnace oil and gas, the Sui Southern Gas Company claimed that it has, in fact, increased the gas supply to the utility from 190mmcfd to 240mmcfd, keeping in view the problems being faced by Karachiites.
As Sindh points fingers at the Centre, the Centre points fingers at KE, and the power utility company toots the horn of technical faults and feul shortages, Karachi's nightmare continues unabated.