PR No.8 Islamabad

After exercising restraint since the incident of blast took place at Dargah Sehwan Sharif, the Ministry of Water&Power feels it necessary to put the record straight.

Spokesperson for Ministry of Water and Power stated that the dedicated line of Dargah Sehwan Sharif has been provided by HESCO since past many years. After being misused by the Dargah Administration who provided it to the neighbouring shops and hotels, the premises ran into defaults of millions of rupees. The overdue amounts were refused to be paid by the Government of Sindh since 2011. After the high amounts accumulated and on detection of massive thefts being allowed on the dedicated line, disconnection was carried out in 2015. The connection was later on restored on the request of the provincial government. The Dargah administration, in order to avoid payment of bills, shifted their load from the dedicated feeder to other feeders, by putting a “kundas”on those feeders but the HESCO administration did not take any legal action in view of respect for the Dargah premises. The load shedding was routinely being carried out on those feeders at 6 pm every day and the day of the incident was no exception.

Loadshedding has been a country-wide phenomenon since 2007 reduced from 12-15 hours in 2013 to considerably low levels nowadays. The security vulnerable places are covered by the concerned authorities through provision of UPS systems and standby generators. It is unbelievable that an important premises such as the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalender, earning millions every day from devotees’ contributions would be devoid of this basic facility at the security gates, where a UPS could have been provided with an expense of few thousand rupees. Even if there was no loadshedding schedule, such security contingencies are to be provided to meet any unforeseen disruption of power.

It is expected that the concerned provincial authorities would fulfill their responsibilities by providing security contingencies at sensitive installations and would not try to hide behind lame excuses for their failures.