Demonstrations were held in different areas of Karachi against the over-billing of electricity bills. In Korangi, the temper of protesters ran high and they stormed the office of the K-Electric. The protesters also vandalised and destroyed the office furniture. The over-billing of the electricity bills and long load-sheddings have infuriated citizens forcing them to take to the streets in different areas of the city.
In Awami Colony, Korangi, the anger of the local residents ran high and they stormed the K-Electric office. The protesters blocked the road by putting up barriers and burning tyres. The protesters said that payment of inflated electricity bills was beyond their affordability. Apart from this power outages for many hours are also carried out due to which they have suffered double punishment.
Daily life has been badly disrupted due to load-shedding.Meanwhile, protesters broke into the office of K-Electric and ransacked it. The office furniture was destroyed, while goods kept in the cupboards were also scattered. Due to the situation, the office staff was also trapped.
As soon as the incident was reported, a contingent of police reached the spot and negotiated with the protesters. In this regard, police officials said that during the demonstration, some people o broke the cupboard in which the weapons of security guards were kept. However, the weapons were immediately taken into protective custody and the protesters were dispersed after negotiations.
Meanwhile, Karachi Electric (KE) has taken strict action against violent protesters who attacked its premises in multiple areas of Karachi on Thursday and registered five FIRs.According to a statement issued by the KE, reports of a few violent protests emerged in parts of the city on Thursday against K-Electric in which staff and properties of the company were damaged. Moreover, K-Electric’s IBCs in Landhi and Korangi in particular, both shall remain temporarily closed.
A KE Spokesperson said, “While we respect citizens’ right to peaceful protest, some miscreants are using it as an opportunity to instigate violence and create a law and order situation in the city. On Thursday, severe damage was caused to our customer-facing offices, and our staff members were tortured, which will not be taken lightly. As many as 5 FIRs have been lodged by KE and CCTV footage has been shared with the law enforcement authorities for the identification of the lawbreakers.
We have also established contact with Commissioner Karachi who has assured us of all possible legal cooperation to safeguard KE’s properties and staff. We would like to assure you that the negative elements causing riots and vandalism will be dealt with strictly according to the law.”
They added, “It is critical to understand that any change in the price of electricity is made at the level of the Government of Pakistan and the NEPRA Authority in line with relevant laws of the country, all the power distribution companies of Pakistan including K-Electric execute those decisions. The changing geopolitical and economic circumstances have resulted in a hike in the cost of electricity, which is beyond K-Electric’s control.
Amid the ongoing situation, the power shortfall continues to persist 24/7, and as a result, we are compelled to conduct a load shed to manage any gaps. Where it is possible for the company and when shortfall shrinks, KE also passes the relief to the customers instantly.”