Contrary to the relief promised by the K-Electric (KE) on Wednesday when it announced a revised load-shedding plan to manage the ongoing power shortfall in the city, the citizens of various areas of Karachi suffered more-than-usual power cuts on Thursday.
People from many areas reported to have suffered around 10 to 12 hours of load-shedding. In some areas, the duration of power cuts went as long as 16 hours. The power cuts prompted people in many areas to take to the streets. The enraged people blocked roads in protest against the power utility on Wednesday night as well as on Thursday.
The areas of Karachi facing severe power crisis include North Karachi, Surjani Town, Shadman Town, Buffer Zone, Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Lyari, Saddar, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, Defence Housing Authority, Clifton, Ibrahim Hyderi, II Chundrigar Road and Shah Faisal Town.
A resident of North Karachi, Syed Hasan, complained how there was no power at his residence since 7am until the filing of this story at around 9pm. He lamented that the power cut had also resulted in a water crisis for his family. 'On Thursdays, we get water through suction pumps and on the same day there is a continuous power outage,' he said.
In District Central's Ayesha Manzil area, there was a two-hour power breakdown after every two hours of power supply. A resident of the area, Farhan Ameen, shared how the load-shedding started at 11am in the morning and continued intermittently throughout the day.
'The power supply situation was already bad in the area. On Thursday, it went worse,' he said. The situation in Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal was no different. There was one-and-a-half-hour power breakdown after every two hours. 'At least, there should be a continuous four-hour power supply so that our UPS can be charged,' said a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar.
The Traffic Awareness and Social Media Unit of the traffic police reported that various road in the city were blocked in the morning and evening hours of Thursday as people resorted to protest against the power crisis.
Residents of Abul Hassan Ispahani Road blocked the thoroughfare all the way till the Paradise Chowk against the intermittent power outages in the area. Another protest was held on Hawkes Bay Road in front of the Mauripur KE office at around 11:30am against the power and water crisis in the city, which caused traffic jam on the road for hours. On Wednesday night, protesters blocked Kala Pull Chowrangi and Dalmia Road against the power crisis.
Responding to the public outrage on Twitter, the KE shared that the revised load-shedding schedule was being implemented due to various factors, including the rising demand of electricity and high temperature. 'However, this increase in duration of load-shedding is a temporary measure.'
As per the revised policy, the power utility said that three hours of load-shedding would be undertaken in low loss areas within the KE's service territory. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the KE said that the revised plan would provide a relief of one to two hours to areas already affected by load-shedding.
The statement read that the revised schedule could be obtained via KE's website, KE Live app, and KE WhatsApp Self Service Portal. The power utility apologised for the inconvenience caused to its customers and vowed to continue to undertake all possible measures for its mitigation.