Power riots intensify in Pakistan

Karachi: Protesters set four vehicles, including two trucks belonging to a power company, on fire as they clashed with police Sunday in this city.

Shahrae Pakistan which passes through densely populated Liaqatabad district was blocked for five hours as police fired teargas on protesters who pelted them with stones.

Angry residents from the Federal Capital Area took to the streets after more than 55 hours of power breakdown. They also had no water as electric-powered pumps were out of order.

Residents laid siege on the offices of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and ransacked a sub-station.

The KESC said that the power was cut off because residents were defaulting on their utility bills that cumulatively amounted to Rs400 million (Dh15.6 million).

Power theft

Sources said residents were also tampering with the electric consumption meters to cheat on their bill.

“We cannot provide electricity to the electricity thieves,” the KESC said in a statement.

“They are lying. They are the biggest thief as they don’t supply electricity and send highly exaggerated bills,” a protester shouted.

Paramilitary troops were also called in to reinforce the police in restoring order.

In Karachi, the electricity supply has been comparatively better than the rest of the country but of late, the situation is worsening.

Protesters in central Punjab province also burnt tyres on roads and staged rallies in different cities to protest against long hours of power outages.

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