Power crisis worsens as anti-KESC protests continue

As the city dwellers endured serious power crisis amidst excruciatingly hot and humid weather on Saturday, the angry power consumers once again took to streets in various parts of the city against the prolonged power outages in their households and shops.

Complaints of prolonged power failures were received from across the city, as maximum temperat
ure reached 44 degrees Centigrade, causing serious hardships for the people, especially for elders and the students taking up their Intermediate examinations. Parts of Nazimabad, Federal B Area, Saddar, Kharadar, Meethadar, Liaquatabad, Manzoor Colony, Musharraf Colony, Malir, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Scheme-33, Shah Faisal Colony, Landhi and Gadap underwent prolonged hours of power breakdown since Friday.

Angry power consumers took to streets in SITE area, North Karachi and Lucky Star in Saddar against the prolonged power failures and the KESC for failing to restore power supply to the affected areas despite lapse of several hours. An angry mob pelted the passing vehicles with stones near SITE police station, while a KESC repair vehicle was set on fire near Habib Bank Chowrangi.

Offices of Edhi Trust and other emergency services near Merewether Tower had been facing serious power situation for the past one week, disrupting smooth functioning of the emergency and volunteer service centres. Gul Houses in Gulistan-e-Jauhar’s Block-7 also remained without electricity for several hours on Saturday.

The concerned circles seriously castigated the performance of the KESC for subjecting power consumers to prolonged spells of load-shedding and power outages and not rectifying faults in different parts of the city. They blamed the KESC management for hiding its inefficiency and misdeeds behind the protest movement of the utility’s workers.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the KESC said that it has been facing all odds to maintain non-stop power supply to all five industrial zones in the city and there has been no change in the exemption policy of these areas from load-shedding even amidst hostile and non-conducive atmosphere caused by CBA Union by carrying out subversive and disruptive attacks on the distribution and maintenance system.

“Despite all the attacks and hurdles created by the CBA Union, the KESC has been rectifying faults in industrial zones in high security situation. On Saturday, all complaints in the industrial zones had been attended to. At places where maintenance work was still in progress, the power supply had been restored through back feeding from the nearest source. The KESC appreciates the protection provided by the law enforcement agencies in this noble cause and demands enhanced security at all its offices and maintenance centers in order to allow the utility’s employees to perform their responsibilities in a tension-free and relaxed atmosphere.

“The KESC understands well the importance of keeping the industrial wheel moving and top priority has been given to the repair of local faults in industrial areas even though there have been great hardships caused by CBA Union and its external armed connivers. The power utility has been supplying uninterrupted electricity to all industrial zones on round the clock basis and there have been no unscheduled outages or load-shedding in these areas at all.

“The CBA Union’s miscreants in fact have specifically been targeting the KESC offices and maintenance system in industrial areas with an obvious aim to halt the wheel of economy for its nefarious designs. The CBA Union hooligans have so far physically manhandled and injured three KESC assistant executive engineers outside the offices of Korangi Model Industrial Zone, blocked all repair and maintenance work in SITE area and even chased the KESC officers who wanted to be on duty while taking shelter in the offices of SITE Association,” alleged the KESC statement.

Meanwhile, President KESC Labour Union Muhammad Usman Baloch said that the representatives of CBA (KESC) workers would surely go for talks on the pending issues and disputes on Monday (tomorrow) at the State Life Building with the five-member human resource committee nominated by the KESC management. He said that the issues of terminations and suspension of KESC workers along with registration of police cases against them during the present protest movement would also be raised during the talks in addition to the main controversial issue of 4,000 workers in power utility whose services could soon be axed by the KESC management.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=48344&Cat=4&dt=5/22/2011

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