KESC workers rally to protest lay-offs

The protesting workers of the Karachi Electric Supply Company on Monday took out a massive rally against the likely downsizing in the utility, which, before winding up at the KPC, also passed by the KESC head office in Gizri.

On the other hand, residents of Qayyumabad and Akhtar Colony took to the streets in protest against electricity failure spanning several hours, burnt tyres and blocked the main Korangi Road.

The workers’ rally was taken out from Shaheen Complex which, after taking a circuitous route, touching Saddar, the Civic Centre, Korangi, the head office of the KESC in Gizri, terminated at the Karachi Press Club, said the chairman of the KESC Labour Union, Muhammad Ikhlaq Khan.

The rally on motor vehicles was taken out under the aegis of the KESC Mazdoor Ittehad.

Extensive security arrangements were witnessed outside the KESC head office in Gizri when the rally passed by it.

Police even blocked a track of the road in front of the building to avoid any untoward incident.

The participants of the rally were addressed by the leaders of the CBA and other labour bodies at different spots.

The speakers castigated the utility for its alleged anti-labour policies and against the impending retrenchment of employees.

There was no breakthrough in the two sides establishing a contact with each other to resume the process of talks, Ikhlaq Khan said.

Meanwhile, instances of prolonged and frequent loadshedding and outages continued in various parts of the city, causing miseries to the people amid hot and humid weather.

In a number of areas, people faced some acute voltage fluctuations which damaged their electrical appliances.

The KESC failed to respond to the multiple complaints lodged by the suffering power consumers.

However, a KESC statement on Monday said that its top priority had been to bring the power distribution network in the city back to normal, and its teams had been working round the clock to this end, even under threats.

It alleged that miscreants had been committing acts of sabotage across the city non-stop.

“Their actions have not only led to disruptions in the commercial activities but also created mental agony for the residents,” the statement said.

“The State has a major responsibility in protecting the power supply system of this metropolitan city as the customer base of KESC includes not only the general public, but also a number of sensitive and strategic customers,” the statement concluded.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=49915&Cat=4&dt=5/31/2011

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