KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, while expressing deep concerns over the current spell of unannounced load shedding being suffered by all industrial zones of the city, urged the lawmakers in Islamabad and Sindh to take notice of the situation by strictly directing the Utility Service Provider to supply uninterrupted electricity to all industrial units across Karachi.
In a statement issued, President KCCI said that load shedding was being carried out on rotation in all industrial zones of the city for up to five hours during night, resulting in terribly affecting the production of many industrial units, particularly the production of export-oriented industries who have to dispatch their goods abroad within a limited time period. “If the situation goes on like this, the exporters may not be able to dispatch their consignments on time, which would not only cause severe losses to them and to the national exchequer but would also result in losing the valuable foreign buyers”, he added.
Muffasar Malik feared that limited production by industrial units of Karachi was likely to affect the overall economic performance of the country by further plunging the exports and also trimming supplies in the local markets, besides raising the bars of poverty and unemployment.
He said that the current spell of load shedding was due to the differences between K-Electric and SSGC over the payment of old outstanding dues for gas consumption by K-Electric. The conflict stands unresolved and has intensified nowadays between the two Utility Service Providers. On one hand, K-Electric claims that SSGC has curtailed gas supplies and they were receiving 90 mmcfd gas only against the demand of 190 mmcfd, leaving no other choice for K-Electric but to resort to load shedding whereas on the other hand, SSGC refutes these claims of K-Electric and says that K-Electric was a defaulter of billions of rupees.
“Why industrialists, who always clear their outstanding dues on time, are being penalized because of the differences between the two Utility Service Providers”, he asked, adding that both Utility Service Providers, instead of creating problems for the consumers, should act sensibly and amicably resolve their issues on priority basis.
Referring to electricity unannounced load shedding in residential areas and commercial markets of the city, President KCCI recalled that a similar situation was witnessed back in June 2015 when more than 700 people were killed within four days due to brutal heat wave, prolong load shedding and water shortage in Karachi which should not be repeated again. “We cannot do anything about the current heat wave but can surely save many lives this time by ensuring uninterrupted electricity and water supplies to the masses.”
Water and electricity shortages being suffered by Karachiites should be resolved on war footing so that precious lives of innocent citizens could be saved, he stressed, while urging the lawmakers to seriously take notice of situation in order to avoid any untoward incident.