Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rain, KESC and KWSB add to miseries of citizens

No electricity and filth bubbling out of gutters and spilling on the roads making life difficult for pedestrians - just a few drops of rainwater are enough to reveal the shortcomings in the electricity and sewerage systems of the city.

Citizens were deprived of electricity as soon as the rain started. Most of the localities falling within the jurisdiction of Malir, Gadap, Federal B Area, SITE, Landhi and Banaras have yet to get their power supply back.

Ijaz Alam, a resident of Keamari, told Daily Times, “There was a power breakdown in the area soon after it started raining and power has not been restored since the last six hours.”

The rain which otherwise proves to be a blessing of God, also failed to impress Zulfiqar Jan, a resident of Landhi, who told this scribe that he has been waiting for the resumption of power supply for the last 11 hours. “We are calling up the KESC help line but not getting any positive response,” said Jan in despair as he spoke with this scribe over the phone.

Not only has the electricity situation caused problems for the citizens but also the sewerage system. Office goers had to face extreme problems as gutters in most parts of the city were overflowing. Streets in Saddar and Pakistan Chowk area from where a large number of office goers pass by were full of sewage water. While the sewage water on streets was in abundance, Muhammad Rizwan a resident of Pakistan Chowk area, claimed that the supply of drinking water had been stopped since morning and there wasn’t any water to drink.

Most of the people who wanted to go to mosques for Friday prayers could not do so. “One should go to prayers wearing clean clothes,” Muhammad Imran, a resident of Pakistan Chowk area, adding that it was not possible to cross roads keeping one’s clothes clean. However The Karachi Electricity Supply Company (KESC) and the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) have their own version of story to tell.

The KESC said that because of the preparedness of the utility, the advent of monsoon had caused much less harm to the power distribution system than was anticipated and the repair work has been carried out at a fast pace. “As a matter of fact, only 266 out of over 1,150 feeders had tripped between Thursday evening and 2 PM on Friday. They have been fixed within a couple of hours,” claimed KESC’s Chief Operating Officer Distribution Jan Abbas Zaidi.

However, he admitted that some grid stations had developed faults including Malir, Civil Aviation and Gadap, and added that the first two grids were fixed while work on the Gadap grid was still underway. “The KDA-Malir 132 KV circuit where the cable had fallen down was also being repaired. Work on the Garden-Jacob Lines circuit, Federal B Area Block 10, SITE and Dr. Zubair sub-station is also being carried out,” the KESC official said.

Meanwhile, The KWSB held the KESC responsible for the situation. A spokesman of the KWSB said that 100 million gallon water could not be supplied to the city owing to the four-hour long power disconnection to the Dhabeji Pump Station. (DT Report)