KARACHI: Protests broke out in several parts of the metropolis on Monday when residents took to the streets, burnt tyres and blocked main roads for vehicular traffic in protest over the K-Electric for carrying out unannounced and prolonged loadshedding and frequent power breakdowns during the ongoing hot and humid weather.
Though there was no word from the power utility, people fed up with hours-long power outages under the announced and unannounced loadshedding, finally decided to lodge their protest.
In the wee hours of the day, a large number of Lines Areas residents came out on main Sharea Faisal and blocked the key road near Gora Qabristan.
They blamed the KE for keeping their supply off for 13 hours. Shouting slogans against the power utility management and demanding restoration of their supply, the protest caused a traffic jam on one track of the arterial Sharea Faisal.
Residents of Lines Area, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Sultanabad, Nazimabad take to streets against KE
Similar scenes were witnessed in Gulistan-i-Jauhar where a hundreds of people converged on Johar Morr and blocked main Rashid Minhas Road for vehicular traffic.
The protesters were demanding restoration of their power supply, which they said was suspended since Sunday night.
Two more protest demonstrations were staged in the densely populated neighbourhood near Perfume Chowk and Safari Park on main University Road.
Traffic moving on main University Road was diverted to an alternative route due to blockade causing severe traffic jams on the main road and adjoining arteries.
Minutes later, Nazimabad witnessed the same activity where a large number of people including women and children took to the street and staged a protest.
The protestors raised slogans against the K-Electric and blocked the road, causing one of the worst traffic jams on main Nazimabad Road.
They said that they were facing 12 to 14 hours of power outages in extremely hot weather, which had made their lives miserable.
They also condemned the power utility for “making people fool” in the name of maintenance shutdowns.
Despite frequent complaints, they said, the company failed to describe the nature and the area of the fault with no timeline for restoration of the supply.
At the PIDC traffic intersection — an area that falls within the so-called Red Zone — a large number of residents from Hijrat Colony and Sultanabad staged a protest against prolonged power outages.
They chanted slogans against the K-Electric. Their protest caused a traffic mess on Club Road, Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road and Mai Kolachi.
Residents from Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Surjani Town, New Karachi, Federal B. Area, F. C Area, Burnes Road, Defence Housing Authority, Clifton, Baldia Town, Manghopir, Orangi Town, Landhi, Shah Faisal Colony, Model Colony, Shaheed-i-Millat Road, Khokhrapar, PECHS, Mehmoodabad, and Defence View apartments said that the KE was carrying out unannounced loadshedding for hours in their areas.
Students appearing in intermediate exams have become the victim of prolonged loadshedding as they had to take their papers in hot and humid weather. Also, they are unable to prepare for their exams because of multiple spells of loadshedding in day and night times.
Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2022