FIR should be filed against KE if someone dies of heatstroke: Sindh minister

Sindh Assembly approves censure motion against electricity loadshedding

Rana Javaid
A volunteer of an NGO pours cold water on a citizen to avoid heat stroke in Karachi, on May 21, 2024. — PPI
  • KE does not fall under jurisdiction of Sindh government, says Ghani.
  • Urges people to file FIR against KE if anyone dies of loadshedding.
  • He incites people to turn off light of KE offices amid power outage. 

Blasting the K-Electric (KE) over unannounced loadshedding amid sweltering weather conditions, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani on Tuesday said that FIR should be registered against the power utility if anybody dies of heatstroke in Karachi.

Addressing a Sindh Assembly session, Ghani said that the sole power distribution company does not fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial government.

He urged the people to register FIR against the KE “if someone dies of unannounced loadshedding.”

The minister incited the people to enter the KE offices and turn off their light when there's a power outage. He, however, asked the people to avoid violence and damaging any property.

"Make them sit without electricity amid the heat wave condition so that they could realise the public woes," he added.

His remarks came as parts of the port city are experiencing over 12-hour loadshedding amid extremely hot weather.

Karachiites have been left sweltering due to the recent heat spell that has gripped the metropolis for the past few weeks. Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz said Monday the weather will remain hot for the next 10 days with temperatures expected between 36℃ to 38℃.

The minister was of the view that those areas from where the bill recovery was 100 % were also facing hours-long loadshedding.

He further said that the KE was giving collective punishment to the people in the port city, adding that the power utility did not have any proper system.

“If 500 people are paying bills and 200 are not, then why are the other 500 being punished?”

Referring to the cases filed by the KE, Ghani asked how can an FIR for blocking road and burning tires be filed the power utility. He maintained that the “inhuman behaviour” of the KE should be discussed in the House.

It is pertinent to mention here that the KE has registered hundreds of FIRs at police stations across the city against power theft.

Meanwhile, the provincial assembly approved a censure motion against electricity loadshedding. The resolution was tabled against KE, Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) and Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).

‘Collective punishment’

For his part, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, while hinting at moving the court against power distribution companies, said that the electric distribution companies were allegedly subjecting the people to “collective punishment”.

Addressing the Sindh Assembly session, the information minister said: “If a house does not pay its bills, the electricity of the entire village is cut off.”

In his hard-hitting speech, the minister termed KE, Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) and Hesco the most incompetent institutions in the country.

Slamming the KE for over billing, Memon said: “In any person consumed 20 units electricity, he is sent a bill for 200 units.”

When the consumer approaches the KE office, he is advised to pay his bill in installment instead of correcting the reading in the bill, he added.

“Amid the ongoing heatwave, 22-hour loadshedding is being done [in parts of Sindh].”

He further said that the electric companies were violating the constitution, adding that they should move the court against them. The minister further said that the federal government should take serious notice against the power distribution companies.