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Karachi upset: power share cut stuns Pakistan’s largest city

Internews Report

KARACHI: The Pakistan government’s announcement to cut down the power quota of the country’s largest city from 650 megawatts (MW) to 350MW under the national energy policy has left the citizens of Karachi in a state of shock, despair and uncertainty.

The policy has declared the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) would face a slash of 300MW to cope with the energy crisis currently prevailing across the country.

Muhammad Raza, a bakery owner at I I Chundrigar Road, said here Friday the ongoing four-hour loadshedding in the area was a relief as compared to the havoc that would be wreaked by the implementation of this announcement.

“The power outages will automatically lead to water shortage. Plus, our business will be badly affected and delivery orders will get delayed as machines will not run without electricity,” Raza predicted.

Talking about the new decision, Anis Ahmed, a banker who lives in Sharifabad explained that the biggest problem ordinary people faced due to load shedding was that they have to remain inside their small homes due to the miserably hot weather.

“People here reside in small apartments which do not have proper ventilation and living inside them without electricity becomes next to impossible. But why would the high-ups care about these power cuts, for they live in large, air conditioned homes!” he commented.

Devi Ghanshaam, a housewife, reflected that house chores got badly affected due to power outages. “You can’t iron clothes, you can’t prepare food with choppers and grinders, your fridge doesn’t work, and your kids can’t study properly. It adds to the mess when our men come back tired from work and can’t even rest properly,” described Devi.

A visibly irked Muhammad Afzal, a traffic policeman at the city’s Lighthouse area said that he knew nothing positive would happen whether he criticised the recent announcement or not. “It is simply our bad luck that we have been born in this country. Only God can guide our leaders to perform better. They don’t listen to us otherwise,” he added.

A resident of Haji Camp, Noor Ali, who has been selling shoes on a pushcart for the past six years at Tower, said that even his business would dwindle with more power cuts in the city.

“We have to organise the lot of shoes everyday; clean them, arrange them but we can’t do that at night without electricity. Also, people do not generally like to buy goods from carts which do not have a proper light hanger above it,” Noor informed.

Not just adults, even children would be affected by the increased power cuts.

Twelve-year old Sami Khan remarked that load shedding would affect studying and hobbies both. He said, “I cannot watch my favourite programmes on TV, I cannot use the computer and I cannot study after sunset, if there is power shortage in the city.”

Muhammad Raza, a bakery owner, said work will get difficult for sure. “From baking machines to refrigerators for storing eatables, nothing will work and will cause problems”

Anis Ahmed, a banker, said, “Big shots live in air-conditioned houses while poor sweat away in heat without electricity and when we protest, we are seen as troublemakers”

Ishtiaq Farooqui, a photo studio owner, said, “My business can’t run without regular power supply. We lose clients if we are not able to deliver our work on time”.

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