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Karachiites brave hot day as mercury reaches 41.5˚C

Updated March 30, 2018

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THE usually bustling M.A. Jinnah Road has scant traffic on Thursday afternoon as many people preferred to avoid the scorching heat.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
THE usually bustling M.A. Jinnah Road has scant traffic on Thursday afternoon as many people preferred to avoid the scorching heat.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The residents of the city braved yet another hot day on Thursday as K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) were involved in a war of words over a number of prolonged power failures.

Hot continental air during the day pushed the mercury up to 41.5 degrees Celsius and forced the people to remain indoors.

Responding to Dawn’s queries, a Meteorological Department official said the minimum temperature recorded on Thursday was 22 degrees Celsius.

Read: Is Karachi ready to fight the next big heatwave?

“The daytime high temperature created a low pressure-like situation which pulled relatively cooler breeze from the sea during the evening,” he maintained.

He added that the humidity in the morning was 76 per cent while it was 15pc in the evening as the dry continental air during the day did not allow the sea breeze to enter the city.

K-Electric, SSGC play blame game over power outages

The weatherman predicted similar weather for Friday when the temperature will be expected to remain between 38 and 40 degrees Celsius.

Medical professionals have advised the citizens to avoid direct contact with the sun, especially during the morning and afternoon, and take more liquids. They have also told people to cover their heads while going out in the open.

The hottest place in the province on Thursday was the Thar desert town of Chhor, located in south-eastern Sindh, where the mercury touched 45.2 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures of some other towns were: Nawabshah (44.5 degrees C); Mithi (43.5); Sukkur, Padidan, Larkana, Hyderabad and Badin (43); Jacobabad, Mirpurkhas, Moenjodaro, Rohri, Sakrand and Thatta (42.5); and Dadu (42.4).

K-Electric, SSGC tussle

The Karachi power utility released a statement on Thursday and held the SSGC responsible for power outages in the city.

Related: Industry suffers as gas dispute erupts

Its communications director Sadia Dada said, “The supply we are getting from the SSGC is going down consistently instead of increasing which is not letting us produce sufficient electricity.

“The demand for electricity increases in the summers but the allocated gas supply of 276MMCFD has unfortunately been reduced to 90MMCFD.

“We are in contact with the SSGC on the matter. The situation is expected to improve if we receive the gas as much as we did last year. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers and request their cooperation.”

The SSGC promptly responded and brushed aside the excuse given by the KE.

“The gas supply to the KE has never been reduced,” it said.

“The KE is spreading incorrect information that the power outages are occurring due to insufficient gas supply,” the gas utility said.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2018