KARACHI: People suffering from prolonged power outages in the scorching heat on Wednesday came out on main roads and highways and blocked the arteries to draw the authorities’ attention to their suffering and agonies of Covid-19 patients in home isolation.
They said power supply went off up to six times during the day and the previous night with each duration lasting one or one-and-a-half hours.
The blockades of roads caused traffic jams and the authorities diverted traffic onto alternative routes, where, too, traffic moved slowly. The protests continued till night.
A traffic police official said that barring two or three protests, including the one at Gurumandir, all other protests ended in the evening.
The unannounced loadshedding triggered a water crisis, compounding problems of the citizens.
According to witnesses and officials, residents protested on the National Highway at Razzaqabad. As a result, both tracks of the highway were closed for traffic. The traffic was diverted at Port Qasim to the inner area and the traffic coming from Quaidabad towards Razzaqabad was diverted at Abdullah Cut to Shah Latif Town.
Residents held a protest against shortage of water and power at Baldia-4 on Hub River Road and Northern Bypass, which were closed to traffic. Traffic was diverted from Baldia Chowki to Labour Square.
Residents of PECHS and adjoining areas protested on Khalid bin Waleed Road; resultantly traffic was allowed to use the service road.
Citizens protested against shortage of water and power at Gurumandir near Business Recorder Road, due to which the road was closed for traffic, which was diverted from Gurumandir to Teen Hatti.
Residents of Baloch Para along Jehangir Road protested against shortage of water and power, due to which Ahsan Shafique Road was closed to traffic.
Traffic coming from Liaquatabad to Teen Hatti was diverted under the bridge to Dak Khana and traffic coming from Gurumandir was diverted at Teen Hatti towards Lasbela.
Residents of Gharibabad protested against shortage of water and power, owing to which the road leading to Hasan Square from Gharibabad was closed to traffic and the traffic was diverted from under the bridge towards the Nipa intersection.
Residents of Lyari held a protest demonstration against shortage of water and power at Mira Naka Chowk, causing closure of the road to traffic.
Residents of Sultanabad protested against shortage of water and power on M.T. Khan Road near Khyber Petrol Pump, blocking both tracks of M.T. Khan Road. The traffic was diverted from the PIDC traffic intersection towards Khajoor Chowk and the US consulate to Boat Basin.
A resident of Martin Quarters told Dawn that they suffered power outages four to five times, with each spell lasting over an hour.
Amir, a resident of Jehangir Road, said they suffered power outages four times during the day and night with each duration lasting for two-and-a-half hours.
Similar was the story in other affected localities.
Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2020