KARACHI - City Mayor Wasim Akhtar said on Tuesday that people of Karachi were bearing the brunt of the ongoing tussle between K-Electric and Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

“Besides residential areas, hospitals are facing persistent loadshedding,” he said.

The mayor said that K-Electric, SSGC, KWSB or whatever organisation, they must now take this protest seriously. “I appeal to the president of Pakistan to resolve the conflict between K-Electric and SSGC for provision of required volume of gas to power suppliers in the city. At least 200mmcfd gas should be supplied to K-Electric so that current power crisis can be overcome,” says Akhtar.

He expressed these views while addressing a protest demonstration against loadshedding by elected local government representatives outside head offices of K-Electric (KE) on Tuesday.

Chairman of East DMC Moeed Anwer, Chairman of Korangi DMC Syed Nayyar Raza, Vice Chairman of East DMC Abdul Rauf, Vice Chairman of Central DMC Syed Shakir Ali, City Council Parliamentary Leader Aslam Shah Afridi, Chairman of Land Committee Syed Arshad Hassan, Chairman Law of Committee Arif Khan Advocate, City Council Parliamentary Leader for PML-N Aman Khan Afridi, ANP parliamentary leader Alam Zaib Alai, JUI-F parliamentary leader Akbar Shah Hashmi, Shuja Haider Advocate of the PTI and other members of city council Karachi and elected representatives were present on this occasion.

The demonstrators were holding placards and banners, urging K-Electric to stop persistent load shedding and overbilling in Karachi. They also demanded that suspension of power supply for longer durations throughout the day must stop immediately.

The mayor said that when it comes to Karachi, government funds dry up. “Not a single project was completed in Karachi in the last 10 years,” he said. He said that elected local government representatives have proved that they are responsible citizens and joined this protest. “So far, we have not asked people who voted for us to come here in this hot weather. However, someone has to do something for the city,” he said.

Later, the mayor, leading the protesters, went inside the K-Electric main office and talked to Chief Marketing Officer Syed Fakhar Alam, Director for Distribution Arshad Iftikhar, Director for Media Sadia Dada, Director Rashid Hussain, Deputy Director for Protocol Faisal Jahangir and head of HR Rizwan Dalia about prolonged loadshedding and problems of citizens.

Talking to media representatives later, he said, “We have offered K-Electric that many of the issues can be resolved at the district level therefore serious efforts should be made for this purpose.” He said, “We want to provide relief to people of Karachi who are suffering due to this situation.” He said that Karachi had enough operations and now this city needed development work. He said that K-Electric must overcome this crisis or people of Karachi would take to the street against power suppliers.

He said, “We are peaceful citizens. Karachi is the economic hub of the country, but the government is not paying attention to it. He said that different political outfits ask for votes but they do not raise any voice for people. “All of Karachi projects are incomplete, including K-IV, S-III, Bus rapid transport project and other projects. Injustice to Karachi must stop now. K-Electric should settle its issues with the SSGC. Citizens of Karachi have nothing to do with it and they only need electricity in this hot weather, especially students who have to appear in examinations at centres without electricity.

He said these issues must be resolved without delay while we also decide “our” next strategy.