Karachiites irked by power cuts even during Sehri and Iftar

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Apr 24, 2022

With mercury rising in Karachi, its people are once again facing long hours of load-shedding in different areas, even during the Iftar and Sehri timings.

Even in areas exempt from load-shedding, residents are complaining of four to six hours of power outages. In other localities, the load-shedding hours have increased from eight to 15 hours.

Areas such as North Karachi, Surjani Town, Shadman Town, Buffer Zone, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lyari, Saddar, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, Ibrahim Hyderi and Shah Faisal Town are suffering severe power crisis.

Whereas the K-Electric (KE) says there has been a shortfall of 300 megawatts (MW) from the national grid, the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) has stated in a statement that there is no shortfall in power supply to the KE, the sole power supplier to Karachi.

The NTDC said that they were supplying more power to the KE than what had been decided in their agreement.

Currently, the NTDC claims to have been supplying more than 850MW to the KE.

Perturbed citizens

A resident of North Karachi Sector 11-L, Hasban, lamented that they were facing seven to eight hours of load-shedding daily and power cuts were happening even during Sehri and Iftar. “Earlier, our area was declared a load-shedding free zone, but all of a sudden during Ramazan, there’s a sudden surge in load-shedding,” he said, adding that it had become extreme difficult for his family to fast in such hot weather with extreme power cuts.

A resident of Nazimabad, Muhammad Salam, shared how they were facing at least eight hours of power cuts on a daily basis.

“These are the last 10 days of Ramazan. People pray at their homes and inside mosques. The KE should refrain from cutting power supply,” he said.

The situation is much worse in areas of Korangi and Ibrahim Hyderi where the hours of load-shedding have reached as high as 15 hours a day.

“Life has become a misery due to power outages,” said Fatima Ali. “We don’t get power at all. We cannot get water through pumps due to power outages. We cannot pray during Ramazan. Children cannot sleep,” she said, adding that the KE should at least ensure power supply during Sehri and Iftar.

KE statement

The KE, meanwhile, claimed that power supply to the city was predominantly stable amid curtailed supply from the national grid.

“Power supply to major parts of Karachi predominantly remained stable amid reduced supply of electricity from the national grid,” read a press statement issued by the power utility.

“Amid a growing shortfall of electricity due to insufficient availability of fuel, the national grid authorities directed KE to curtail power supply by 300MW. KE maximised its available generation capacity to bridge the demand/supply gap, but the utility had to undertake load management in some areas. As prudent practice, KE immediately issued an SMS to alert all registered consumers who would be affected to apprise them of the situation,” the statement read.

The KE also claimed that ahead of the summer season, it had undertaken an extensive analysis using historical trends of Karachi’s electricity consumption and prepared appropriate contingency plans.

“This enabled us to limit the load management to less than 40 per cent of our network, though we regret the inconvenience caused to our valuable customers associated with these areas. We continue to monitor the situation and will apprise our consumers as we receive more information.”

The power utility also requested the consumers to play their part in reducing demand through conservative use of electricity especially during the hours leading up to the Sehri time.