A tussle between the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and K-Electric entered into its fourth day on Tuesday. Unpaid electricity bills are the main source of contention between the two organisations.
On Saturday, KMC started an anti-encroachment operation near a KE office a day after the power utility disconnected power supply to the city government’s building during a budget session.
The constructions on the footpaths and the gate of the KE’s Eleander Complex near Shaheen Complex were demolished during this drive. A sub-station and “illegal” rooms set up by the KE on a footpath near Makki Mosque in Garden and on Shahra-e-Quaideen near Noorani Kabab House were demolished too.
A KMC representative said that the drive was carried out on the directives of the Supreme Court and it will continue without any break.
KMC’s anti-encroachment operation against KE continued on Tuesday. It has so far removed KE’s installations, including walls and barricades, from the footpaths and KMC-owned land in District Central and District East.
The head of KMC’s anti-encroachment team, Bashir Siddiqui, said that operations had been performed at Power House in North Karachi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Block 11 and Qayyumabad.
“The KE staff attacked KMC’s chief engineer Noorul Haq during the drive and injured him in Qayyumabad,” Siddiqui said. The KMC staff also registered an FIR against KE’s staff at the Korangi Industrial Area police station.
The KMC senior director said that they had removed illegal walls, shutters and guard rooms that were on footpaths and KMC-owned land.
A representative of KE, however, strongly condemned KMC’s drive and said that the corporation started its operation without serving any notice to them.
He said that the KMC head office’s electricity was disconnected due to non-payment of bills. Several notices were served to the KMC authorities before disconnecting the power supply, he said.
The KMC has a total outstanding bill of Rs4 billion for its 274 electricity connections, he said. In the first phase, KE had disconnected 71 connections at the Old KMC building due to non-payment of Rs580 million in dues.
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar said he has written a letter to the Sindh chief minister, asking for Rs70 million to pay KMC’s dues.
In the letter, Akhtar informed the Sindh CM that power at the KMC head office has been disconnected for the last five days over non-payment of bills. He wrote that the Rs70 million would help the corporation clear its electricity dues.
Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said that the KMC is not paying its current bill to KE.
“The Supreme Court has ordered the Sindh government to pay KMC’s previous outstanding amount to KE,” he said, adding that the Sindh government has deposited Rs340 million to KE against an outstanding amount of Rs580 million.