ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the National Assembly expressed its serious concern on Thursday over prolonged power outages in Karachi and the members of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) staged a walkout from the House in protest against hours-long load-shedding.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said that the people of Karachi are in miserable condition due to long hours of load-shedding in the city. He said that it is responsibility of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to resolve the issue of prolonged load-shedding in Karachi. “K-Electric is not running oil units of plant and saving money,” he said.

Sheikh Salahuddin of MQM while moving a calling attention notice regarding failure of NEPRA to make Karachi Electric accountable, particularly for unprecedented load-shedding in Karachi, said that the government is responsible for the current situation of load-shedding in Karachi.

He said that the relevant minister should respond to the calling attention notice. He said that Karachi is industrial hub that creates major portion of revenue for the country and NEPRA should resolve this issue immediately.

MQM leader Abdul Waseem said that the people of Karachi are receiving electricity bills at the rate of power generation on furnace oil while K-electric is generating electricity through gas. “The Prime Minister should resolve the issue of load-shedding or the apex court should take suo motu notice of it,” he said.

Another MQM member SA Iqbal Qadri said that K-Electric is presenting lame excuses for electricity load-shedding. “K-Electric did not take measures which it has committed with the government during five years to improve the system,” he alleged.

Muhammad Kamal Malik of MQM said that the people of Karachi have demanded resolution of the load-shedding issue immediately. “The government is running on our taxes. The relevant minister should be suspended if he cannot resolve the issue of load-shedding in Karachi.”

Afterwards, the members of MQM staged a walkout from the Lower House of the Parliament in protest against prolonged load-shedding.

Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, while responding to the opposition members, said that K-Electric has failed to provide electricity to the people of Karachi. He said that NEPRA had sought written inquiry from K-Electric of this situation and it was found that gas shortage was the reason behind it.

He said that NEPRA has sent 3-member committee to Karachi to investigate the issue of prolonged electricity load-shedding and submit a report. The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has announced that it will investigate the concerns shown by the residents regarding prolonged electricity load-shedding by K-Electric in Karachi.

The minister said that National Assembly Standing Committee on Energy should also take up the issue and hold its meeting in Karachi. He said that the parliamentarians of Karachi should also participate in the meeting to discuss this issue with the stakeholders and find its solution.