Protests erupt in Karachi after prolonged load shedding

Protests erupted in different parts of Pakistan’s Karachi on Tuesday due to the unannounced and prolonged load shedding, local media outlets reported.

In different areas of Karachi, residents participated in protests after an unannounced and prolonged load shedding in the city, ARY News reported.

Meanwhile, the resident also staged protests outside the K-Electric office and in Sir Syed Town Kalyana of the North Karachi area

The residents of Quaidabad held a protest near Daud Chawrangi and blocked a road for traffic.
Earlier, on August 12, frustrated by prolonged and unannounced load shedding, angry residents of Sachal Goth had marched towards the K-Electric (KE) office and attacked it.

The protestors had pelted stones at the KE office and broke the windows of its vehicles. On their way to the office, the protestors also burnt tyres against the prolonged load shedding, reported ARY News.

Earlier, numerous people took to the streets on Monday and gathered in front of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company office in Saidu Sharif, after the excessive rise in fuel cost adjustment (FCA) charges on electricity bills

Due to the imposition of taxes on energy bills, residents of Amankot, Faizabad, Rahimabad, Saidu Sharif, Gul Kada, Panr and other suburbs of Mingora marched from their respective areas and held protests and subsequently marched towards the Swat Press Club where their leaders, including local government members, claimed the current month’s bills were heavily laden with FCA and other taxes, reported Dawn.

“My actual electricity bill, the cost of the units consumed, is PKR 2,000, but the overall bill goes up to over PKR 6,500, including FCA and other taxes. I am a day labourer and don’t have enough money to pay the huge bill,” said Izhar Ali, a resident of Amankot.

Another person, Abdul Khaliq, a resident of the Miangano Cham area, said his salary was PKR 18,000 and received an electricity bill of PKR 21,000 with over PKR 10,000 FCA as he condemned the inflation in energy bills.

Moreover, the agitators said Swat was a tax-free zone, and collection of any tax from people was illegal as a result of which they staged a demonstration against the imposition of FCA and other taxes in power bills.

Last month, Prime Minister Shehbaz said the federal government was making all-out efforts to revive the stalled power plants to put an end to the huge energy crisis faced by the country, reported Geo News.

Pakistan already has two long-term supply deals with Qatar — the first signed in 2016 for five cargoes a month, and the second in 2021, under which Pakistan currently gets three monthly shipments but the nation is currently under a massive grip of widespread power outrages as procurement of the chilled fuel remains unreliable and expensive due to its increased reliance on LNG for electricity generation.

The fast depletion of the foreign exchange reserves was the result of Pakistan’s inflation of twin deficits, and a lack of foreign currency inflows.

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