PTI lawmakers urge Centre to bring in another company to resolve Karachi’s power woes

Statesman Report

KARACHI: PTI lawmakers on Sunday urged the federal government to end K-Electric’s (KE) "monopoly" by bringing in another company to distribute electricity in an effort to solve the power issues being faced by citizens living in the metropolis.

They also announced that they will stage sit-ins outside the KE’s head office from today on a daily basis.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that the city has been facing electricity issues for a long time.

"The citizens of Karachi are demanding cheap electricity," he said, demanding an equal rate of power in the whole country.

Rejecting the power utility’s justification for prolonged power outages, Naqvi said that the KE was providing incorrect information and despite assuring the Sindh governor otherwise, had not ended load-shedding within 48 hours.

"KE’s power [generation] capacity is restricted to 600MW," he said, adding that the power utility had also failed to maintain its plants.

"Citizens have become fed up with their attitude. The time has come to think about another system for power," he said, urging the federal government to resolve the city’s power crisis. "Another company should be brought in to distribute power in Karachi." Meanwhile, MNA Aftab Siddiqi said that initially KE’s head had promised to end load-shedding on June 28, but when he was reminded of this, he failed to give a satisfactory response.

"The shortage of furnace oil has been resolved and there is no shortage of gas. Each year, citizens suffer such prolonged power outages.

"People are quarantined because of Covid-19, power outages are just adding to their problems," he said, adding that they wanted a definitive timeline for when load-shedding will come to an end.

He also said that KE had written a letter to the Sindh governor for giving a presentation. No representative will listen to any presentation from KE, he said. "All talks will be held in the presence of the public and the media."

He also demanded that the government’s contract with KE should be made public and the power utility should put an end to over-billing. He said that they will approach the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority for an audit of KE and will also go to the SC against the power utility.