Karachi (April 20, 2018): Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday suggested all political parties to stage a sit-in outside the PM House in Islamabad over prevailing load-shedding in Sindh, particularly in Karachi.
“If a sit-in is to be staged then all political parties should come together and let’s stage it outside the PM House,” Shah said, while speaking to newsmen alongside Jamaat-e-Islami leader Hafiz Naeemur Rahman in Karachi. “I am with you on this.”He said that what results could be achieved by staging a sit-in outside the Chief Minister’s House, for he had already brought all the issues into public knowledge.
“All [these] tactics are a conspiracy to end provincial autonomy,” the Sindh CM said. He said it was the responsibility of the K-Electric to supply electricity to Karachi, but the city’s sole power producer has worsened the situation.“When the issue of load-shedding turned serious, [we] approached the prime minister, but he cares not what is happening with Karachi populace,” Shah lamented at the presser, saying that they also warned the KE representatives.
Meanwhile, Hafiz Naeem said neither does the centre do anything nor the Sindh government, when it comes to K-Electric. “We do not admit Red Zone,” Naeem said, vowing to go on with highlighting public issues.Questioning as to why the KE had not been running power plants on [furnace] oil, the JI leader said they would compel the power producer to generate electricity using furnace oil.
Naeem said they had called a strike on April 27 and it was hoped that the people would voluntarily back them. He added that a sit-in over load-shedding would be staged outside the Karachi Press Club.Prolonged power cuts continue to plague Karachi with previously exempted areas being subjected to six-hour load-shedding every day.
On Thursday, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) declared K-Electric responsible for prolonged outages in the megapolis, and requested the federal government to not only provide gas to the power producing utility, but also take action against it.
Briefing a meeting of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, NEPRA officials said the 180MW power plant of the KE has been closed for the past 5 months.
If the KE turns all its power plants on then it would produce 2900MW of electricity, officials said, which would be sufficient to meet the city’s needs.