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Karachi power cuts hit millions

by Dave Keating | March 6, 2008 at 06:22 am | 181 views | 3 comments

old lanterns for new

rumana husain
by rumana husain
updated 1 day ago | 29 views

Karachi power cuts hit millions

rumana husain
by rumana husain
updated 2 days ago | 22 views
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Millions of people in Pakistan’s largest city have been without electricity, following a power outage.

Pakistan’s state-run utility said it had cut supplies to Karachi because the city’s power company had not paid its bills. Outages occurred in the morning.

Some power was later restored, and officials say it will be fully back on within a day or two.

Karachi has a population of more than 13 million, and is home to two main ports and Pakistan’s stock market.

Unanswered letters

A spokesman for Pakistan’s main power utility, Wapda, said it had cut the supply of 300 Megawatts, because Karachi’s power company owed the firm about $554m.

“We have been writing to them every week to make at least some payments, but they’re not even replying to our letters,” said Wapda spokesman Tahir Basharat Cheema.

Pakistan suffers acute power shortages because of inadequate generating capacity and theft of electricity from power lines.

Last June crowds took to the streets in Karachi to protest against the high number of power cuts.

Correspondents say the cuts were one of the main things that angered voters in the run up to last month’s parliamentary election, which opposition parties won.

March 6, 2008 at 06:22 am by Dave Keating, 181 views, 3 comments

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news wanted:

I think this is an important story and would benefit from other NowPublic contributors working on it. I’ve flagged it as News Wanted and invite others in relevant locations to look for more evidence.

rumana, thanks for posting these pictures. What is the situation like there?

Dave, Karachi has a population of over 16 million, not 13. And the power shuts have been a continuous affair. It is not a temporary thing either as the country faces serious fuel shortages. Karachi has not known power cuts in winter, but this winter has been pretty notorious on that account. Karachi is not known for a pleasant spring season during these months either, so although this is the first week of March, and the rest of the country enjoys very good weather, we are already sweating! Yes, the one thing that we can boast of is the cool breeze in the evenings from the Arabian Sea. Candles and old fashioned lanterns are selling like hot cakes for the poor and power generators and UPS for the well-to-do. I went to my office this morning to find that there is no electricity, and came back home in the evening to a similar situation. This is the third day in a row that there has been a power outage at my place which is located in one of the most affluent areas of this metropolis. The plight of scores of other areas is either the same or worse.

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Dave Keating
First Flagged at 6:26 AM, Mar 6, 2008 by Dave Keating

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