KARACHI: Amid an abrupt boycott of the proceedings by the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the Sindh Assembly on Monday was told that the province, particularly Karachi, was facing a worst electricity crisis, only due to the ‘incompetence’ of the previous government as well as flaws in the transmission and distribution system of K-Electric.
The issue of prolonged power cuts and unannounced loadshedding in Karachi was echoed in the house when PTI’s Adeeba Hassan in her call attention notice asked the energy minister to inform the house about the steps taken by the provincial government to control the menace of loadshedding in the city.
She said that the loadshedding was a very serious issue as it had made people’s life miserable.
“The traders’ community is compelled to shut down their businesses due to prolonged loadshedding,” she said, adding that people had electricity only for 10 hours out of 24 hours of the day.
Imtiaz Shaikh wants forensic audit of KE; house passes bill to set up university in Mirpurkhas
“The Sindh government should wake up and look into the matter,” she said.
Later, PTI’s parliamentary party leader Khurram Sher Zaman on a point of order said that the city was facing worst loadshedding of electricity. “The entire city is facing up to 12 hours of power shutdown. As a protest, we are boycotting the assembly sitting,” he said before walking out along with other party lawmakers.
Responding to the call attention notice, Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh held the PTI’s former federal government solely responsible for the ongoing power crisis across the country, including Karachi and rural parts of the Sindh.
“At present, there is a shortfall of 7,000MW to 8,000MW in the country due to wrong policies of the PTI government,” he added.
He said that there was shortfall of 800 MW in Karachi as the KE was getting 2,700MW from the national grid against its demand of 3,400 to 3,500MW, he added.
The energy minister came down heavily on the city’s lone electricity provider and said that there were several flaws in the transmission and distribution system of the KE and demanded that the federal government conduct a forensic audit of the power utility.
He referred to the privatisation of the then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and said that it should be made public so as to what were the responsibilities of the KE as per the agreement.
Mr Shaikh informed the lawmakers that the provincial government was making all possible effort to end loadshedding in the city.
He said that after the surge in unannounced and prolonged loadshedding in the city, they had a meeting with the KE officials.
The minister said that the PTI-led federal government in its enmity with Sindh had refused to entertain cheap energy projects proposed by the provincial government.
“The energy crisis is a national issue created by the previous federal government as the situation became bad to worse due to its ill policies and incompetence,” he added.
Two other call attention notices given by PTI’s Jamaluddin Siddiqui and Mangla Sharma of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan were deferred by Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari as relevant ministers were not present in the house.
A call attention notice given by Nand Kumar Goklani of the Grand Democratic Alliance was not taken up as the mover was called absent in the house.
2.8m animals immunised against skin disease
PPP’s Shazia Umar withdrew her adjournment motion regarding prevalence of the lumpy skin disease (LSD) in animals after Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi said that the provincial government had successfully managed to control the infection.
He said that the department had imported four million vaccines and 2.8 million animals were immunised so far in the province.
Mr Pitafi said that 37 cattle markets had been set up in the province on the occasion of Eidul Adha, adding that their teams were present there 24 hours to check the animals.
“As of now, only three animals are affected of lumpy skin in the province,” he added.
Mr Pitafi said that the first case of LSD was reported in Bahawalpur, Punjab, in October last year. “Later, it was reported in Balochistan and Sindh in early and late November respectively,” he added.
Meanwhile, the house also passed The Ibn-e-Sina University Mirpurkhas Bill, 2021.
Two other government bills — The Sindh Physiotherapy Council Bill, 2022 and The Partnership (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2022—were introduced and sent to standing committees for further deliberations.
The house was adjourned to Tuesday.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022