CJP grills K-Electric on incompetency, seeks answers on ending loadshedding

KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday questioned what measures K-Electric (KE) is taking to end load-shedding in Karachi.

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“When will load-shedding end in the metropolis,” the chief justice asked while hearing a case pertaining to the city’s power crisis at apex court’s Karachi Registry.

“When and how will KE increase power generation capacity to the city?” Justice Nisar further asked.

The chief justice asked KE to submit an affidavit in court within a week in response to his questions.

“KE should give a written statement assuring that power plants will not be shut,” he remarked.

Justice Nisar further warned that if the power crisis is not resolved even after the affidavit is submitted then an inquiry will be conducted against KE.

“Till when will the people of Karachi have to suffer the wrath of unannounced and prolonged load-shedding?” the CJP questioned.

However, the chief distribution officer informed the court that KE is taking measures to increase power generation.

“We are also investing to curb the power crisis,” he said.

However, judicial assistant Advocate Faisal Siddiqui said, “He is lying. KE is neither increasing power generation nor is reducing load-shedding.”

“National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) issued a show-cause notice to KE but the situation still has not improved,” Advocate Siddiqui upheld.

To this, KE’s counsel said, “The demand for electricity is 3,500MW but only 2,950MW is being generated.”

“Load-shedding is being done in three categories,” he further explained.

“Depending on the area, load-shedding is done for three, six or seven-and-a-half hours,” the KE counsel added.

The CJP remarked, “The reason for load-shedding is not kunda system but mismanagement.”

Questioning the measures taken against kunda system, Justice Nisar told the KE counsel, “Electricity cannot be stolen without your workers’ assistance.”

Further, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah asked, “What is the fault of those who are paying bills that they are being rendered without electricity?”

“According to NEPRA, residents of Liaquatabad suffer up to 14 hours  of load-shedding while Korangi and Orangi face 18-hour power outages on a daily basis,” Justice Shah added.

Directing KE and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) to submit affidavits within a week, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till June 26.

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