KARACHI: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar on Thursday said that what measure has been done by K-Electric in Karachi to end load-shedding from the city.
This he said while hearing a case pertaining to the city’s power crisis at apex court’s Karachi Registry. “When will load-shedding end in the metropolis,” the chief justice asked.
What has done so far by the power company in Karachi and when and how will the KE increase power generation capacity to the city? CJP asked the official.
The chief justice directed the city’s sole power distributor to submit an affidavit in response to his questions with the court in a week’s time.
“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 was not resolved even after the affidavit’s submission, then an inquiry would be conducted against KE.
“Till when will the people of Karachi have to suffer the wrath of unannounced and prolonged load-shedding” he questioned.
The chief distribution officer informed the court that KE was 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,” 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 explained.
“Depending on the area, load-shedding is done for three, six or seven-and-a-half hours.”
At this, 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 pilfered without your workers’ assistance.”
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 until June 26.
In apparent jibes at Nawaz and Imran, the PPP chief accused the PML-N supremo of starting a war between state institutions and the latter of using violence and abusive behaviour as his weapons.
“While one person is constructing a Taj Mahal of [ill-gotten] money, the other is hiding behind the ‘respect for vote’ [slogan]. One has violated the sanctity of the Parliament, while the other has continued to look for the umpire’s signal.”