Power crisis echoes in Sindh PA

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KARACHI: A lawmaker in the Sindh Assembly urged the provincial government on Tuesday to allow new entrants in the power distribution sector and break the monopoly of the current supplier.

Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) MPA Abdul Rashid raising a point of order said that 20 years ago the privatisation of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation was done but there has been no improvement in the utility’s power generation and distribution services.

On the contrary, people continue to face hours-long power cuts and inflated bills, Rashid said adding, “I request the Sindh government to adopt a resolution to get rid of current power utility and provide opportunity to other companies so that citizens can heave a sigh of relief.”

He was of the view that KE gets electricity from National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) and sells the same to consumers at excessive rates. “The citizens are protesting in every area of Karachi against the inflated bills, but the power utility refuses to make corrections. People have no other option, but to pay the bills,” he said.

Earlier, the assembly adopted a unanimous resolution and condemned the attack on public properties and army installations on May 9.

The resolution was moved by Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) MPA Mufti Mohammad Qasim Fakhri demanding action against the goons who were involved in the ransacking and attacking public property.

It was the second resolution passed by the house on the issue in a week.

Monument for PIA plane crash victims

The atmosphere of the House turned somber when Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) parliamentary leader Rana Ansar moved a resolution to build a monument in memory of around 99 people, including her spouse, who were killed in the May 22, 2020 PIA plane crash at Model Colony in Karachi.

Rana Ansar, with tears in her eyes, requested the government to build a monument for those who lost their lives in the tragic air crash. “The names of the passengers of the ill-fated flight must be written on the monument,” she said, adding that the families of the deceased gather every year on May 22 to pay homage to the victims in the park where the plane crashed.

Women MPAs including PPP’s Shehla Raza and Kulsoom Chandio went to her seat and pacified her.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani endorsed her idea and said, “No one will oppose the resolution and the government should build the monument on the place where the incident took place.”

Minister for Excise and Taxation and Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla said the area where the plane crashed falls in the domain of Malir Cantonment, but the provincial government would try its best to convince them to build a monument.

Earlier, as the session started with speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair, the house passed a private bill to establish Saifee Burhani University in Karachi. The bill was moved by PPP MPA Sadia Javed.

Minister for Minorities Affairs Giyanchand Essrani during the question and answer session briefed the lawmakers about his department’s performance and announced that CCTV cameras have been installed at all temples and the government would soon appoint permanent security staff.

“We are going to hire the Hindu youth for the security of the temples,” he said.

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