Power crisis in Karachi

The privatisation of KESC failed to solve the basic problems of production and distribution

Karachi is continue to experience the hours long load shedding as K-electric failed to enhance production and upgrade the distribution system. Karachi is facing 8 to 12 hours daily load shedding and power failures. The people and businesses are suffering as the result of electricity crisis. People are forced to spend hours without electricity in scorching heat.

The temperature is soaring, load-shedding is at an all-time high and helpless citizens are left to crave for every drop of water. The children, elderly, working people and women spend night staying up all night in the dark amid the sweltering heat. The end to this nightmare is not seems in sight.
Load-shedding has reportedly peaked to 15 hours a day in Karachi. Areas previously being subjected to seven to nine hours of load-shedding are now experiencing 12-hour to 15-hour long power outages, allegedly due to a rise in electricity theft in these localities.
When most of the country including other largest cities and commercial and industrial hubs including Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad are load shedding free and receives round the clock uninterrupted power supply why then  Karachi is facing such a power crisis. 
Karachi is not only the largest city of Pakistan but also a commercial, industrial and financial hub. When Karachi suffers then the national economy suffers as the result.  
 WE were told when the K-electric was privatised that private investor would invest in production of electricity in the largest city of our country. We were also told that there will be improvement in the system and company in private hands would improve its performance and services. The opposite has happened so far.
K-Electric (KESC at the time of privatisation) hasn’t invested enough money in the power generation to overcome the problem of electricity shortage. The K-Electric also failed to improve the services and upgrade the depleting distribution system. KESC now K-Electric is the classic example of failed privatisation. Not a single basic issue has been solved by the K-Electric since the privatisation in 2005. The government should realistically review the decision of privatisation and reverse it.    
When the KESC – now K-Electric – was privatised in 2005, we were told that privatising it would transform the ailing company and would bring new investment that would improve the distribution system and control line losses. The new investment would help install more power plants which would produce more electricity to meet the increased demand.
The residents of Karachi were expecting better services and uninterrupted power supply after the privatisation. They hoped that the company would become more efficient and capable of handling any crisis-like situation.
But the city’s residents are facing the same old problem even after 12 years of the power utility’s privatisation. Every crisis has revealed that this method of providing power is ill-prepared, incapable and inefficient. The people of Karachi still spend hours without electricity in extremely hot weather. The system is still inadequate and cannot cope with the rising demand and load. There continues to exist a wide gap between the production and demand of electricity and the national grid is plugging this gap.
Among them, areas worst hit by the crisis include Lyari, Korangi, Landhi, Surjani Town, Saeedabad, Ramswami Colony, Keamari, New Karachi, Gadap Town, Ahsanabad, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Baldia Town, Garden, Malir, Orangi and Town.
To add to the predicament, the suspension of electricity supply to pumping stations has given rise to a water shortage in the city. Moreover, an increase has been observed in complaints of tripped feeders, cable faults and other technical issues.
According to sources in K-Electric (KE), who asked not to be named, over 20,000 complaints pertaining to various issues are lodged daily at the power utility. They further claimed while the demand for electricity has surged in the city due to rising temperatures, the utility has made no arrangements to deal with the situation.
To add to it, residents of various areas have complained of inflated bills, maintaining that they were doubled for the month of June amid long hours of power outages.
Irate, they criticised KE for only focusing on generating revenue and not increasing its electricity production capacity.K-Electric management is focusing on to increase the profits instead of improving the services. 
Earlier, the metropolis would be supplied electricity by the government-run Karachi Electric Supply Company, worth trillions of rupees. However, the giant was sold to a private entity for peanuts and renamed KE – now considered a bane for the city.

Over the years, the private power utility has been able to do little to resolve the city’s electricity problems, and instead, has persistently failed to deliver and meet Karachi’s electricity needs of 3,400 megawatts.
While a KE spokesperson attributed the electricity crisis to the shortage of furnace oil and gas, the Sui Southern Gas Company claimed that is has, in fact, increased the gas supply to the utility from 190 mmcfd to 240 mmcfd, keeping in view the problems being faced by Karachiites.

As per the sources in KE, the utility has been collecting allowances and subsidies on the pretext of energy crises, which they claim have been created by it artificially for several years. The crisis may have been deliberately created for the same purpose this time around too. 

1 comment:

  1. Because of vested intrest no govt taking serious action


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