• Six to 12 hours of outages being carried out across city
• KE blames gas supply shortages for shortfall

KARACHI: The recently announced revised loadshedding schedule of the K-Electric has piled more miseries on people as the power utility has now started suspending electricity for hours with intervals at night-time in every locality of the city, it emerged on Saturday.

Reports pouring in from parts of the city suggested that instead of giving any relief in loadshedding, especially at night-time, the loadshedding for six to 12 hours was being carried out in the entire city, including the areas which had been declared ‘exempted’ by the power utility.

A KE official, who did not wish to be named, said that the loadshedding was being carried out equally in every part of the city regardless of the so-called ‘high and low losses’ areas declared by the KE.

The power utility on June 30 announced “a rationalised loadshed schedule” for its customers in the light of ongoing power supply constraints. “The revised schedule is effective July 1, 2022. This step is being taken to provide relief to customers experiencing night-time load-shed”, it said.

However, the power crisis in the city seems to have aggravated since the KE announced its revised loadshedding schedule as every locality in the city has been experiencing worst power outages both in day and at night.

As per the KE’s revised schedule, the loadshedding in almost every locality of the city would be carried out at least four times daily, including at night-time.

Residents of the areas where the KE notified loadshedding for four times a day — one and half hour once and one hour thrice — said that they had been facing loadshedding for over eight hours that included at least two hours at night-time.

Besides, they complained that the KE suspended power supply to their respective areas for over 12 hours every week on the pretext of maintenance. “Every week we get a message from the KE that the power supply will remain suspended from 10am to 6pm for a day,” a disgruntled resident of Anda More, North Karachi, said.

KE version

Meanwhile, the KE said that shortfall in power utility territory had increased from an average of 250megawatts-350MW to almost 450MW-500MW due to the rising temperatures and curtailed fuel supply.

“Moreover, the shortfall persists round the clock making the night-time loadshed unavoidable,” it added.

The power utility said that it was also facing supply constraints due to reduced gas supplies from the Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd, which was down to approximately 90 Million Cubic Feet per Day versus the 200MMCFD gas that was supplied last year.

“Consequently, two plants in KE system, one at SITE and one at Korangi, with a combined generation of 200MW, remain non-operational. The release of KE dues from the government against tariff claims will enable KE to pay fuel suppliers in full and negotiate for more gas,” the power utility said.

A spokesman for the power utility said that loadshedding schedule in place was applicable on a daily recurring basis. “Interruptions in power supply due to necessary maintenance on the network, or due to technical faults should not be equated with loadshedding,” he added.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2022

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