Road blocked in protest against power cuts

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KARACHI, April 17: Exasperated by frequent power outages and long spells of loadshedding, residents of a Korangi area took to the streets on Tuesday and staged a somewhat violent protest against the Karachi Electric Supply Company that also caused a severe traffic jam near Qayyumabad and Akhtar Colony.

The protesters burnt tyres on the main Korangi road, causing suspension of traffic, and chanted slogans against the KESC accusing it of deliberately depriving the residents of electricity.


However, a KESC spokesman claimed that the outages were caused by feeder tripping. The power supply was, however, restored after repairs, he added.


But, the enraged consumers said the KESC was depriving them of electricity on one pretext or another and it had become a daily routine across the city.


Meanwhile, KESC consumers in Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi and New Karachi complained that the power utility was resorting to unannounced and prolonged loadshedding that also led to a water crisis in their respective areas Gulbahar, Lyari, parts of Federal B Area and Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Shah Faisal Colony, Malir and Landhi were also tense due to extended hours of power outages.


Angry consumers complained that the power utility was doing it deliberately to cover up its generation shortfall and to save furnace oil.


Meanwhile, the power crisis and disputes in the city were expected to further aggravate after the Sindh High Court upheld the intrinsic right of the KESC to disconnect those industrial consumers who had changed their purpose for electricity connection by shifting their KESC connection to standby mode.


In view of non-utilisation of sanctioned load and change of purpose, the KESC notified these units that they were at risk of disconnection as such conduct was in violation of law.


The KESC’s point of view was that it was facing a natural gas shortage since the captive power producers were now utilising more gas than was available to the power utility.


A KESC spokesman said that a new 560 megawatts (MW) Bin Qasim Plant had been tested on full load. However, the committed 130 million cubic feet daily (MMCFD) gas for this plant had not yet been supplied.


On the other hand, the KESC also announced that to improve the power distribution network it launched a “third meter removal drive” aimed at minimising irregular consumption of electricity.


Under the initiative, the KESC set off to remove additional meters from premises, where three or more meters are installed. The drive is in accordance with the National Electric Power Registration Authority requirement, which envisages one meter for one premises.


The KESC at the moment opted to take out a third meter only and would let the first and second meters remain intact to eliminate irregular consumption of power so as to stabilise power distribution system and optimise load management concerns.


The KESC spokesman said that irregular consumption meant the consumer’s load had not crossed the energy limits for two meters and the third meter had only been installed to gain illegitimate slab benefits without ensuring that the connected load of the third meter and the power consumption correspondingly matched between the other two meters. All security deposits and payment made for any additional/third meter would be adjusted against electricity bills being duly generated on the other meters.


Courtesy:  Dawn

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