Who is this affecting?
From slums to high-class residential areas, there have been continuous power cuts at unexpected hours without any prior notice. Subsequently, when people raise their voice against them the blame game continues. This does nothing except exacerbate the suffering of people while KE stalls, if not entirely ignores, the matter. Hence, nothing is done as the business makes money by taking advantage of the people of Karachi.
KE, the only electricity supplier, has claimed they have been getting 50 mmcfd RLNG less from the SSGC . This, while in the market the peak demand had crossed 3,450 megawatts. There is also a shortage of furnace oil. KE also claimed they had informed the inside concerned authorities about its fuel requirement since January but it was not approved in time. Government authorities, on the other hand, denied all the claims and said that KE’s system was incapable.
During this back and forth between the two, the citizens of Karachi have been suffering.
How is this any different to KE’s previous tirades?
With the ongoing pandemic and lockdown forcing everything – from school, college, universities, jobs and businesses – online, the population of Karachi is not only missing out but facing losses. Students and breadwinners of the family are not able to fulfil their needs and keep up with their peers given these unprecedented circumstances. Adding to that, issues like load-shedding causes a lot of damage to them because, in such heat it is very hard to survive without a cooling device. Most families can’t afford these things regardless, and so they are helpless at the hands of a profit-hungry business. This is the reason Karachi has a lot of deaths related to heat strokes and dehydration.
It is not only the physical exhaustion. The mental exhaustion and stress of unexpected events happening at any time exacerbates any pre-existing issues. With COVID-19 and the heat waging their wars on Karachi, one feels it impossible to survive when electricity also waves goodbye.
What other parts of the city are affected?
The shortage is affecting not only households, but hospitals and isolation centres too: electricity, here, is crucially needed. This is not only putting the already sick in danger but also the staff, doctors and the workforce too.
Furthermore, a lot of hospitals have their machinery ruined due to the come and go of electricity. This causes a huge amount of suffering by the majority of people in the hospital with every regard of their process.
Claims are being made that the load shedding would end in 48 hours on 26 June. Yet, to this day, nothing has been done to tackle the problem at hand. The people are helpless but still waiting for a better chance. There is nothing else they can do right now.
Even today, countless members of the population of what is supposed to be a national powerhouse sit staring at empty screens and dying phones while the KE and government continue their squabble. For it is true, the true victims are the helpless.
Hope is the only option as they pray that the government realises their issues and fix what needs to be fixed before serious consequences arise.