Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Acting President Muffasar Atta Malik expressed deep concern over prolonged power outages being suffered by the people of Karachi since Friday morning.

Malik held K-Electric responsible for the power crisis as the utility service provider kept the available furnace oil-based thermal power plants suspended even in dire need.

The KCCI president said in a statement on Saturday that it has been more than 24 hours since the first drop of rain struck the ground, but power to the city remains unstable at large.

Malik said that although power supply to K-Electric was curtailed by 650 megawatts (MW) on Friday morning due to tripping of the Jamshoro Grid, the company is fully capable of producing additional 1,200MW of electricity through its existing furnace oil-fired thermal power plants. Unfortunately, K-Electric continues to keep these thermal plants shut in order to cut expenditures on furnace oil.

“K-Electric should consider reactivating these plants in such emergency situations so that the hardships being faced by the masses could be minimised,” said Malik. “I urge the government to take notice of the situation.” Malik further noted that the power outage disrupted the activities of people and the electricity failure resulted in acute water shortage in almost every household.

He said that the business and the industrial community have suffered huge losses due to the abrupt power failures in all industrial zones and commercial centres of the city, which requires immediate attention as the industrialists fear that the situation is likely to worsen further. He added that the industrial units may remain deprived of power supply for many days in case Karachi undergoes heavy rainfall.

“Although K-Electric has been claiming that its technical teams have energised all its 62 grid stations and electricity was restored in majority of city areas but the ground reality is totally contrary to these claims,” said the acting president of KCCI.