Residents of Karachi had more or less forgotten about the miseries of unannounced long power shortages. But all of it changed recently after a tussle merged between Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and K-Electric (KE). Residents are now complaining of shortages of as long as ten to twelve hours and there seems no solution in sight.
According to (KE) the loadshedding on their part due to decreased gas supply from the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC). KE says it is currently receiving gas supply at approximately 90mmcfd as opposed to 276mmcfd allocated by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC). They claim that their 500MW power plants are run solely on gas.
On the other hand, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has found K-Electric at fault for the ongoing power crisis in Karachi and asked the government to increase gas quota for the power utility to ease public sufferings.
The regulator has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the power utility for violations of various responsibilities, including non-utilisation of its full power generation capacity. According to NEPRA, the KE network also experienced faults adding to the unplanned loadshedding hours due to its fragile distribution system. However, the regulator attributed the power crisis to lower gas availability than last year and has asked the government to increase gas supply to 190mmcfd (million cubic feet per day).
The power crisis has become so severe that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has warned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that he will boycott the upcoming meetings of Council of Common Interests and National Economic Council if the latter does not resolve the power crisis in Sindh. The Chief Minister has till now sent three letters to the PM asking him to play his part in settling the dispute between SSGC and KE. The Jamaat-e-Islami and Pak Sarzameen Party have also staged sit-ins against KE and the federal government over prolonged power outages in Karachi.
The tussle over payments between Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and K-Electric (KE) has resulted in immense suffering for the people of Karachi. The Federal, provincial government and relevant departments must sit together at the earliest and find a solution to the crisis.
Citizens should not be made to suffer due to tussle between SSGC and KE.