SITE power station shutdown blamed on workers’ kidnap

Posted on June 16, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A power station supplying 90 megawatts mainly to industrial units in the SITE area was shut down on Wednesday by the Karachi Electric Supply Company after what the power utility alleged “armed hooligans kidnapped about 40 KESC employees and outsourced staff members working at the power generation plant”.

According to a spokesperson for the power utility, police and other law-enforcement agencies allegedly did not provide security to the power plant.

Neither did they make an attempt to preempt its forced shutdown or kidnapping of the employees in the morning.

The KESC alleged that the employees were taken to an unknown place on four trucks.

The power utility spokesperson said the lawenforcement agencies, which had been directed by the Sindh High Court to protect KESC employees, assets and installations, had been absent from the SITE power plant despite repeated calls from the KESC management.

The KESC shut down the power plant to preempt any untoward incident since no operational and maintenance staff was left at the power station and safe functioning of the gas turbines could not be ensured.

Rejecting the KESC management allegation, the labour union representatives termed it baseless and alleged that the closure of SITE generation plant was “a deliberate move to cripple Karachi and Pakistan’s economy”.

KESC People’s Workers Union General Secretary Lateef Mughal said that kidnapping was a crime and if it was true that 40 outsourced workers were kidnapped, then why did the management or relatives of the kidnapped people not lodge FIRs.

While residents across the city continued to suffer more than 14 hours of unan nounced outages, the KESC claimed that the power utility found itself in great difficulty to continue its operations to provide electricity to the metropolis because it said the government had not followed its constitutional and legal obligations.

“The government has not been considering the interests of the 20 million population of Karachi,” the spokesperson alleged.

‘Insulting’ attitude Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power Nawabzada Lashkari Raisani took serious notice of the standoff between the management and hundreds of workers and the “insulting” attitude of the KESC management towards the government.

Mr Raisani said he was contemplating a privilege motion against the power utility management, which did not turn up despite repeatedly called by the standing committee.

Dawn.com

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