KARACHI - Prolonged loadshedding continues in different parts of the metropolis, multiplying the miseries of citizens.

The affected areas including Lyari, Saddar, Bizerta Lines, Kala Pul, Malir, Shah Faisal, Landhi, Federal B Area, North Karachi, Surjani Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Bahadurabad and other areas.

The power suspension during night multiplies the difficulties of Karachiites.

Residents of the various parts of the city said that the K-Electric pushed the city into darkness and multiplied the miseries of citizens.

The industrialists said that current situation of power supply badly affected the production process as labourer also facing financial losses.

After holding a meeting with the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and the K-Electric officials, the chief minister stated that he would not allow them to punish the people of Karachi merely because of disputes between the two entities.

Karachiites facing a severe increase in power loadshedding for which the KE blamed the SSGC providing 100mmcf out of set 190mmcf gas supply to the power company as a major power plant of 500megawatt has shut down due to unavailability of required gas supply.

However, the gas supply company had rejected the blame of the power supply company and said that frequent gas supply had provided as per an agreement. The KE sources said that the city has facing 700megawatt shortfall of power in current season.

On the other side, the Sindh chief minister has written another letter to the prime minister to direct the SSGC and the K-Electric to immediately resolve their issues in public interest and provide immediate relief in loadshedding to the city residents and industry.

The DO letter written by the chief minister to prime minister on April 9, 2018, said that it was continuation with his earlier letter of March 30, 2018, on the same matter. Murad said in his letter that in order to resolve the matters between the KE and the SSGC and to find ways to mitigate the ongoing electricity loadshedding in Karachi.

He had convened a meeting on April 7, 2018 which was attended by the management and board members of both the entities. Management of both companies were cognizant of the overall situation and presented their respective positions on the issue.

The chief minister told the prime minister that the SSGC, in public interest, offered to increase the gas supply through gas management plan provided the KE pays security deposit, resolve outstanding payment issues, and sign GSA.

The KE on the other hand committed to provide security deposit and showed readiness to sign GSA on mutually agreed terms.

He further said that the SSGC held an emergent board meeting on Sunday which reportedly approved supply of 120 MMCFD natural gas to the KE upon furnishing Rs6 billion security deposit that is equivalent to three months average bill of 150 MMCFD gas supply and signing of mutually agreed TORs for the appointment of an independent chartered accountant firm.

The KE, however, maintains that payment of markup/late payment surcharge to the SSGC is a complex matter as it, in turn, involves recovery of outstanding electricity dues from federal government (tariff differential subsidy) and other strategic bulk consumers, the chief minister apprises the prime minister.

Murad further said that although, both utilities have shown flexibility for the resolution of issues yet excessive electricity outages still persist and the city has not received any relief so far.

The residents of the metropolis and local industry are still enduring electricity outages of over 10 hours daily. Continuous rise in summer temperature has further aggravated the whole situation, especially when students are appearing in secondary school board examinations.

He adds that in the meantime, the SSGC may please be directed to supply at least 190 MMCFD to the KE for optimal generation of electricity.

A committee may also be constituted comprising representatives from federal and provincial governments, the SSGC and the KE to sort out outstanding payment issues.