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Murad urges center to delink disputed claims of different entities from gas supply to KE

KARACHI: In a reply to the letter of Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB) has a claim of about Rs18 billion against various federal government entities operating in Karachi, which should be delinked from the additional gas supply to the K-Electric (KE).

The CM expressed remorse over non-payment of dues by the federal government entities despite several notices.

The Sindh chief minister, referring to Awais Leghari’s letter of 20th April, 2018, in which he acknowledged the fact that the current crisis of power outages being faced by the residents of Karachi was the result of mismanagement, system inefficiencies and commercial mishandling by the KE, said, “You have also mentioned that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has clearly highlighted these issues in its report on current electricity crisis in Karachi.”

“The government of Pakistan (GOP) has to take the responsibility for the failures of the KE as GOP privatized the entity without any consultation with the then Sindh government (GOS) and entered into the contractual arrangements with the private party, while keeping GOS completely out of the process.”

Read More: Murad urges power utility to minimize load shedding in Karachi

Murad Ali Shah said it transpired from Awais Leghari’s letter as well as from the report of NEPRA on current crises that the immediate resolution to the problem lied in providing additional gas to the K-Electric.

“I urge, that issue of disputed claims amongst different entities shall be delinked from the additional gas supply to K-Electric, “ he said

He said penal actions could be taken against K-Electric on its nonperformance and TORs for settling the disputed claims. The additional gas supply may immediately be restored to K-Electric in the larger interest of residents of Karachi, he added.

He urged the federal minister that the residents of Karachi should not be made to suffer because of inefficiency and incompetence of the utility companies, regulators and the government.

Murad Ali Shah said he had already requested the prime minister to act immediately as the resolution of the dispute was the responsibility of the GOP.

“I urge your good self to do the same as the situation is getting from bad to worse with each passing hour and further waste of time on this account will not only add to the misery of the people of Karachi but may also result in a major law and order issue,” the chief minister concluded.

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