KARACHI - The prolong and unannounced power outages continue to haunt citizens of Karachi while people remained cursing the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) for its failure to provide relief to people even in the winter. This scribe observed the worst nightmare during visit to different markets and residential areas of the City here on Sunday. It has been observed that the KESC authorities have turned a deaf ear to hue and cry of citizens who had been made to suffer the worst power outages. People remained finding answer to the question as what they have to do to inform the government and authorities concerned of their tale of immense problems. Many residents were of the view that after privatising the KESC, the government had made itself totally indifferent to the precarious conditions of its masses. Consumers have been made helpless to pay high tariff for electricity but the services of KESC have deteriorated. A large number of citizens told The Nation on Sunday that it seemed that the KESC, through the power outage, wanted to play with people hide-and-seek as electricity in their areas comes for short time and goes off for a long period. They cursed the government for the KESC privatisation, saying that since the company had been privatised it performance had gone worse from bad with every passing day. Citizens have deplored the past claims made by Federal Minister for Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf that government would successfully do away with this problem, adding that now it was January 2010 but there were no signs of respite from the menace of load-shedding. People belonging to various walks of life maintained that the KESC authorities were seemed unable to run the affairs because they had failed to manage the menace of load shedding. Mohsin, a Karachi University student said, I feel quite perturbed when I have to prepare my assignment and electricity goes off. He lamented that in todays world when scientific development had made enormous success we still lagged far behind that even we could not take measures to fulfil our power requirement. A resident of Landhi who runs a grocery shop informed The Nation that the duration of load shedding has increased from 6 to 8 hour and they are without electricity at their home and shops. Look, being a small shopkeeper, I have observed a declining in the number buyers at my shop due to the persistent power outages, he pointed out. He said that it was alarming situation especially for the big factories, textile mills and other industries. A caller from Gulshan said that in winter season the consumption of electricity always remains very low but load-shedding from 7 to 8 hours had compelled them to think that what the KESC will do when summer will set in. He said there was no light in the area for several hours. The whole area was in darkness and no proper information was given by the staff at the local KESC Complaint Centre. The staff seemed to be totally unaware of the situation and were giving rehearsed answers, failing to either give a proper timeframe for the restoration of power supply in the area or why the frequent power breakdowns were occurring in the area, the local residents said. Though the government has already increased power tariff and per unit has been enhanced from Rs1.40 to Rs1.56 for the consumers, consuming up to 50 units, from Rs3.29 to Rs3.68 per unit for up to 100 units, Rs5.55 for the units from 100 to 300 units, Rs8.99 per unit for the consumers consuming units from 301 to 700. Sources said that the IMF had demanded increase in tariff by 13.6 percent. The government again held talks with IMF and requested that it was not in a position to raise the tariff to this extent as it was in favour of a raise from 5 to 6 percent. But the IMF did not allow it and gave message it could stop release of fresh tranches of loan if tariff was not jacked up. The recent surge in the electricity tariff along with increase in load-shedding has increased the difficulties of the citizens manifold and it is seemed that the authorities have turned a blind eye towards the woes of the masses.