KARACHI: The Karachiites who have been bearing the brunt of announced as well as unannounced loadshedding for the past many days had to suffer the power utility’s wrath on Sunday when they were deprived of electricity supply for nine to 11 hours in different areas.
The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) is pointing finger at the Sui Southern Gas Company for short supply of gas which had led to less electricity generation, hence long spells of loadshedding while the SSGC was accusing the KESC of not clearing its arrears amounting to over Rs48 billion, according to sources.
Many consumers called offices of newspapers to record their protest after failing to get any response from KESC complaint centres.
They said that although they were paying bills regularly the power utility was not supplying them power regularly and adequately.
Students who were preparing for examinations and those who worked in offices were probably the worst sufferers.
This reporter made repeated attempts to get the KESC’s point of view on power outages but nobody in its public relations section was available for comment.
An SSGC spokesperson said in response to the KESC’s excuse for outages that sufficient gas was available but it was not being supplied to the KESC because the power utility was not willing to clear its dues it owed to the gas company.
He said the KESC owed over Rs48 billion to the SSGC, which it was not clearing despite repeated requests.
A retired banker, Ashfaq Hussain, who called from Federal B Area Block 15 said that power supply went off every day for around seven hours but on Sunday the electricity went off three times for three hours each, from 8am to 11am, from 2pm to 5pm and from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
A resident of Journalists Colony in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Ahmed Bashir, said that his area had been without power for six hours on Sunday – from 5am to 7am, from 10am to noon and from 8pm to 10pm.
A housewife, Najma Iftikhar, who called from Gulistan-i-Jauhar, said they had to bear with power outage every day for four to five hours but on Sunday afternoon her family had to suffer outage for over six hours, from 7am to 9am, 11am to 1pm and 4am to 6pm.
Fida Hussain, who works in a private company, said that electricity never used to be disrupted on Sundays but this Sunday his area, Sachal Goth in Malir, had faced outage three times – from 10am to 1pm, 4pm to 7pm, 9pm to 10pm.
A student Aamir Khan from Nazimabad said he was preparing for examinations. It was becoming increasingly difficult to study during night because of long spells of outages, he said.
He said that last night electricity went off at 10pm and came on at 1am, then it went off at noon and came on at 3pm and again it went off at 5pm and returned at 8pm.
A retired textile mill manager, Khalid Chhura, from Korangi Crossing areas said power supply was never disrupted on Sundays but this Sunday the area had been without power three times.
First it went off early morning for a couple of hours then from 11am to 1pm, again from 4.30pm to 7pm. On Saturday also, the area had been without power for around 10 hours, he said.
Ghazala Pathan, a housewife called from Gulshan-i-Iqbal Block 1 and said that her area had been subjected to six to eight hours of power outages daily. Power went off for two to 2.30 hours in each spell. It became very difficult to work in the kitchen without electricity in this hot summer, she added.
A student, Mohamad Faizan, from Shah Faisal Colony said that he and his family had suffered three spells of loadshedding — from 9am to noon, 2.30pm to 5.30pm and 7pm to 10pm. He hoped the KESC would be kind enough not disrupt power supply during the night as it would affect his studies.
Aftab Afridi, who works in a private company, called from North Karachi and said that his area had been without power from 8am to 11.30am, 2.30pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm.
He said he hoped the power supply would not be disrupted during night as it was difficult to sleep without a fan in a small apartment. If one could not get enough sleep, he could not perform his duties adequately the next day, he said.