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Pakistan: Load-shedding has made life hell for people in Sindh

With the rise in mercury levels, load-shedding in various cities of Sindh province of Pakistan has made the lives of people hell and the continuous load-shedding has created chaos among the people of the region.

Mohammad Owais, a resident of Karachi, said that there is no power for a long time in those parts of the country where people cannot pay the increased bills, power cuts in Karachi continue for about eight hours.

“The situation has still not improved in terms of load shedding in Karachi, with normal power cuts in the city being around eight hours long,” said Mouhammad Owais. And yet we have to pay such high electricity bills. A person with a moderate income can either pay their bills, educate their children, or pay their medical bills.

People are facing problems and everyday life is being affected. Many heavy power consuming appliances like refrigerators, freezers and even UPS are getting short-circuited and destroyed due to intermittent power cuts.

“The government is cutting basic facilities like waste collection and treatment which is causing people to fall ill. Even after all this, when we are struggling with inflation and high bills, we default on our bills. We have been warned and threatened that our power supply will be cut off,” he said.

Ahmed, another resident of Karachi, also raised similar issues regarding electricity and said that a monopoly was being established. He called for the government to intervene and break the monopoly by bringing in other private companies to create some competition in the market.

Through a network spread over 6,500 square kilometres, KE supplies electricity to all residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural areas within the city limits and serves more than 3.4 million customers across Karachi.

“There is only one company that is supplying electricity, and they are not allowing any other company to enter the market so that their monopoly continues,” Ahmed said. People are suffering from extreme temperatures here, and the government had assured us that there would be no load shedding until this heat passes, but still, many hours of load shedding is happening.

“The government needs to intervene and break the monopoly by involving other private companies, as a little competition in the market would be better for the general public. We have complained about wrong billing to the authorities but either they do not pay attention or say that we have to pay the amount. Either way, we suffer huge losses, we have to compensate the electricity with other important expenses like medical, or education,” he said.

Niaz, another resident, echoed similar comments and said that the Sindh administration does not want to solve the problem. He said that people are struggling with many basic problems like roads, electricity, cleanliness, drinking water.

Niaz said, “Whether it is the problem of Karachi or the problem of Sindh, both are the same. There are many basic problems like roads, electricity, cleanliness, drinking water. If the government was yearning to solve people’s problems, these problems would have been solved long ago.”

“However, I believe that the Sindh administration does not want these issues of the people to be resolved. We are also demanding a relief package but no action has been taken in this direction.

Due to prolonged load shedding at night along with heat, commercial and domestic work is getting affected and people are also losing sleep.

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