ISLAMABAD - Sehwan Shrine' administration illegally provided electricity connections to private businesses, and owes million of rupees in outstanding dues.

The Sindh government has not paid the dues since 2011, which led to power disconnection to the premises in 2015.

Putting the entire blame for the disconnection of electricity on the shoulder of Sindh government, the federal government on Wednesday said that the shrine owes million of rupees and the provincial government was not ready to pay the due amount since 2011.

“After exercising restraint since the incident of blast took place at Dargah Sehwan Sharif, the Ministry of Water and Power feels it necessary, to put the record straight,” said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Water and Power.

It is pertinent to mention here that a suicide bomber last month blew himself up at Dargah Sehwan Sharif killing around 85 people and injuring dozens of others.

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Meanwhile, Auqaf secretary, while briefing Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that the HESCO send a bill of Rs40 million to the shrine administration and due to non-payment, the electricity was disconnected and there was no electricity at the time the blast happened.

The revelation has infuriated the chief minister and he had said that the province had reached agreement with the federal government and was paying the instalments.

Murad Ali Shah also warned the HESCO to restore the connection or face legal action.

However, the spokesman of the Ministry of Water and Power blaming the dargah administration and Sindh government said that a dedicated line of Dargah Sehwan Sharif had been provided by the HESCO for the past many years.

After being misused by the Dargah administration who provided it to the neighbouring shops and hotels, the premises ran into defaults of millions of rupees.

The payment of overdue amounts has continuously been refused by the Government of Sindh since 2011, the spokesman said.

After the high amounts accumulated, and on detection of massive thefts being allowed on the dedicated line, disconnection was carried out in 2015.

The connection was later restored on the request of the provincial government.

The Dargah administration, in order to avoid payment of bills, shifted their load from the dedicated feeder to other feeders, by putting a “kundas” on those feeders, but the HESCO administration did not take any legal action in view of respect for the Dargah premises.

The loadshedding was routinely being carried out on those feeders at 6pm every day and the day of the incident was no exception.

The security of vulnerable places is covered by the concerned authorities through provision of UPS systems and standby generators.

It is unbelievable that an important premises such as the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, earning millions every day from contributions from devotees would be devoid of this basic facility at the security gates, where a UPS could have been provided with an expense of few thousand rupees.

Even if there was no loadshedding schedule, such security contingencies are to be provided to meet any unforeseen disruption of power.

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The spokesperson said that it was expected that the concerned provincial authorities would fulfil their responsibilities by providing security contingencies at sensitive installations and would not try to hide behind lame excuses for their failures.