Power riots break out in Karachi
Karachi, June 21 (UNI) Riots against electricity load shedding broke out late last night in several areas of this port city in Pakistan with protestors pelting stones at a food outlet, two banks and public property besides suspending traffic.
Residents of the Akhtar Colony staged a violent protest on the Korangi Road here and broke almost all traffic signals after suffering severe load shedding spreading over 12 hours.
They also pelted at a KFC outlet, and two banks in densely populated areas besides shattering windows of numerous vehicles, the English-language Dawn newspaper reported.
Police fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters. The residents of Sharea Faisal in the vicinity of Aisha Bawani School took to the street in protest against the prolonged load shedding.
The traffic on Sharea Faisal from Baloch Colony to Metropole Hotel and on Korangi Road remained suspended for hours late in the night.
The riots came against the backdrop of a electricity shortfall in the country.
The shortfall had surged to 2,900 MW early last week when temperatures touched this year's peak amid closure of more than two dozen units of the power stations. The demand was computed at 17,421 MW on Tuesday against maximum supply of about 14,530 MW.
The hydel generation has increased from 5,000MW to 5,600 MW and thermal from 2,600 to 2,800 MW, in addition to maximum generation by the independent power producers (IPPs). However, the government failed to bridge the mounting gap between demand and supply.