KARACHI: Karachi Electric (KE) had been shedding load in Karachi every an hour for an hour and even more and thus the duration of total unannounced load shedding had reached 12 to 16 hours.
The people of Karachi lived their weekend in utter misery as the KE switched on power supply for 5 minutes and suspending it for half and one hour, which continued from Friday morning to Monday morning.
The unannounced prolonged shedding of load in Karachi had paralysed people’s lives and had affected all sections of life with worst intensity. People were in extreme agony inflicted onto them by the sole power distribution company, Karachi Electric through highly prolonged load shedding.
The people of the city worst affected from the load shedding complained of the lethargic attitude and failure to address the issue of millions of people who lived in the mega city.
While talking to this scribe, people of Liaquatabad, New Karachi, North Karachi, FB Area, etc; said neither the federal not the provincial government took any notice of the grave scenario that was fast escalating toward public agitation.
They said the power outages in all areas of the city had not only sickened the population but the load shedding had been a precursor of all the anomalies that could be prevented from uninterrupted power supply.
They said the governments and political parties and even the Judiciary failed to take notice of prolonged load shedding upto 16 hours and the situation had also deprived the people of drinking water, which was already made an unreachable commodity.
They said the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, Sui Southern Gas Company and Karachi Electric were all enemies of the people of the city because the water board was patronising hydrant mafia and the people were facing water starvation. The SSGC had increased the gas tariff by thousands fold and the KE had been avenging the people through load shedding.
Sources in KE told this scribe that this was not a new thing that the sole power distribution company in Karachi, the Karachi Electric had totally failed to run a power company and the hundreds of reports about KE’s deliberate slow or minimized production of electricity published in newspapers were never rebutted.
The sources claimed that the KE was in fact doing all it could to recover its loss through minimized production of electricity and the duration of power outages had reached 16 hours in many areas.
They claimed that according to rules of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), any feeder having a loss upto 13 percent would remain exempted from load shedding. The standard line loss ranged from 10 to 12 percent while the KE claimed of having line losses from 18 to 22 percent. In any case, the feeder would remain exempted if the line loss would pass above 12 percent.
The sources said the KE had raised the duration of load shedding upto the level that would leave the populous paralysed and on mercy of the company while millions of people were facing all sorts of losses from mental ease to physical comfort and from damages to their expensive electronic appliances but their voice was still unheard and unaddressed.
The sources claimed that the KE was mainly depending on 650MW power share from WAPDA and whatever amount of electricity being produced was from gas supply from the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). However, the gas supply was also not as per agreement but it was the sole responsibility of the KE that being a private company, it should buy gas or furnace oil and avoid any inflicting agony on to the consumers.
The experts on electric business also shared their point of view with the scribe and urged upon the federal and provincial governments to also allow a competitor in the mega city of Karachi because the results of placing the electricity distribution in the economic hub of Pakistan under the monopoly of KE was very dangerous for the country.
The competitor should be allowed to run separate electricity plants and the consumers should have a legal right to choose from which company they would buy electricity. The competitor might choose any form of electricity production such as from the solar or from wind sources. The competition was the best solution in overcoming the power outages and to break the monopoly of a single company that had a very bad record of performance.
It would be pertinent to mention that the duration of load shedding in different areas of Karachi was for 12 hours in North Karachi near Power House and Sanober Cottages and Saleem Centre. 16 hours in New Karachi, 18 hours in Surjani Town, 12 hours in Korangi and Landhi, 16 hours in Orangi Town, 12 hours in Buffer Zone and Shadman Town.
In many areas of the mega city, the KE shed the load in addition to scheduled duration of load shed and it was now a practice of the company that the electricity was suspended within 5 minutes after resumption of power supply after scheduled hours of load shed.
Despite efforts none from the KE could be contacted. However, KE had informed through an automatically generated SMS that the company was carrying out some work in New Karachi area due to which the residents suffered prolonged power outages, which would be over in half and a one hour. NNI