The leadership of Businessmen Group (BMG) and office bearers of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have expressed deep concern over 748 deaths in Karachi during the last four days due to brutal heat wave, prolonged power load shedding and water shortages.

In a statement issued by President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi and KCCI Managing Committee members expressed profound grief and sorrow over the deaths caused by the devastating heat wave in Karachi which claimed lives of hundreds of people who mainly suffered heatstroke, dehydration, gastro and other medical complications.

Holding the government and K-Electric responsible for worsening the situation, they said that Karachi was seeing a total helplessness in the face of unprecedented soaring temperatures and no water or electricity. It was a matter of grave concern that K-Electric, despite being a profitable organisation, has failed to improve the overall power supply infrastructure of the city which was the basic reason why Karachiites have been suffering prolonged load shedding and power failures during the holy month of Ramadan. The government must also be equally blamed because it has not taken any penal action and has never pressurised K-Electric to improve its power distribution network, they added.

Water and electricity shortages being suffered by Karachiites should be resolved on war-footing so that precious lives of innocent citizens could be saved, they stressed adding that colossal death toll within four days could have been minimised by ensuring uninterrupted power and water supplies to the Karachiites during the ongoing scorching summer season.

BMG leadership and KCCI office bearers appreciated the Army and Rangers’ initiative to establish heatstroke relief centers across the city in order to provide relief to the citizens of Karachi affected by the extreme heat wave. They also underscored the need to create awareness amongst the general public about precautionary measures which would help in minimising the number of deaths caused due to extreme weather.