KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Tuesday censured K-Electric over its ‘negligence’ that led to death of 12-24 people in the city during two spells of rain and demanded that the power utility pay five million rupees to families of each victim.

A private resolution moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Seemia Zia urged the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to facilitate the victims’ families in getting the compensation from KE. “Whereas, over 20 people lost their lives during the recent rains in Karachi and several got injured because of the negligence of KE of leaving open cables exposed and that victim’s families deserve compensation for their loss. This House demands that K-Electric pay cash compensation of Rs five million per victim. The time has come for KE to show remorse, admit guilt and do the right thing by giving proper compensation. This House urges NEPRA to facilitate the families of the victims in receiving compensation from KE,” the resolution read.

Speaking on the resolution, Dr Seema said that dozens of people lost their lives during rains in the city but the electricity provider was not found on ground and left the citizens on mercy of open wires and electric poles. She demanded of the KE to give compensation amount to families of the victims in front of Sindh Assembly members.

Syed Adbul Rasheed of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal asked the federal government to nationalize the KE and rid the masses of the institution ‘looting’ them for the last 14 years. “Jamaat-e-Islami has been protesting against the KE for last many years and we came to know that the electricity provider is backed up by government officials and political parties,” he added.

Rasheed also accused the power utility of exchanging expensive copper wires with cheaper silver wires across the city. “Copper of billions of rupees has been stolen from Karachi,” he alleged. The MMA lawmaker also expressed his displeasure over delayed presentation of the resolution on the issue and said that more than two dozen people died but they had to wait for a private members day to take up the resolution. “We want to adjourn the house business every other day to discuss less important matter but had to wait to discuss loss of human lives in the house” he added.

The MMA lawmaker also suggested that the compensation amount should be increased to Rs 50 million for each family. The lawmakers of all other parties endorsed his suggestion by thumbing the desk and the mover’s party was also agreed to bring an amendment in the resolution. However, the amendment could not be moved as the Chairman Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran put the actual resolution to the house owing to protest of PTI members who were remonstrating against remarks of the Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Imdad Pitafi.

During his speech on the resolution against the KE, Pitafi started criticizing the Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The PTI would give Rs 50 million compensation in the same manner it gave 10 million jobs and five million homes,” the PPP member added while mocking the PTI.

His remarks irked the PTI lawmakers who started protesting and in the meantime, the Chairman put unamended resolution which was adopted unanimously by the house.

 Rabia Khatoon of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Sohrab Sarki of PPP and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Parliamentary Leader Muhammad Qasim Fakhri also spoke on the resolution.

 Separately, Raja Azhar Khan of PTI withdrew his privilege motion against DSP Azam Baloch for ‘misbehaving’ with him. Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh assured the mover that the report would be summoned from the concerned police officials on which the mover withdrew his motion.

 Later, the house was adjourned till Wednesday (today) at 2 pm with more than half agenda including private resolution, private motions, private bill and amendments in rules still to be taken.