Karachites have been facing undue hardship due to prolonged and unannounced load-shedding over the past several weeks. The frequent power outages have disturbed the routine life in the port city with some areas rendered without electricity at least three to four times a day. The KE that is supposed to supply power to the country’s largest city has cited non-supply of gas by the Sui Southern Gas Company as the main reason behind the load-shedding in many areas of the metropolis. “But the recent crises being faced in Karachi in form of Load-shedding is the result of mismanagement, system inefficiencies and commercial mishandling of KE”, says a letter Minister for Power Division Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari had written to Chief Minister Sindh. The letter also pointed out that the outstanding liabilities of provincial government department KWSB to the tune of Rs 32 billion has played a pivotal role in rendering KE incapacitated for payments to SSGCL. It is unfortunate that the KE has time and again failed to discharge its duties to provide unhindered electricity to Karachi that is the hub of business activity and industrial development. Though there are a number of other reasons behind the electricity crisis in the metropolis, however, power theft is cited as one of the main reasons, which the KE has not been able to curb so far. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during his visit to Karachi has also expressed dismay over the sorry state of affairs saying that “when an area has 40 per cent electricity theft, how can the state solve it?” So the only way out is to deal the situation with utmost honesty and professional integrity.
Now that the tug of war between KE and SSGC stands resolved after PM Abbasi’s timely intervention one hopes that the there will be smooth supply of power to the residents who had bore the brunt of prolonged power cuts over the past several weeks. It is imperative that both, K-Electric (KE) and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited, should evolve a comprehensive strategy to maintain smooth supply of power to consumers of Karachi. Since Karachi is the backbone of the country’s economy a reliable and sustainable power sector is essential needed to maintain the pace of development as energy remains the key driving force of the state’s economy.