Circular debt: KESC cuts off power to water pumping station

Published: March 21, 2012

It was the second time in the last few weeks that Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) switched off power supply.

KARACHI: 

Parts of Karachi may start experiencing scarcity of water from Wednesday morning, which might persist for one more day, after power supply to the city’s main water pumping station was cut off for seven hours.

North Nazimabad, DHA, Malir, Korangi, Hawksbay, Maripur, Orangi, Gulshan-e-Ghazi and Jamshed Town will be affected, as the distribution system of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) takes time to recharge, officials said on Tuesday.

“Tail-end parts and hilly areas will take the hit,” said Ifthikhar Ahmed, a senior engineer of KW&SB. “It takes 15 hours for water to be drained out of the complex pipeline infrastructure but much more time is needed to refill it.”

It was the second time in the last few weeks that Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) switched off power supply to the Dhabeji pumping station, which supplies water to the entire city.

KW&SB owes over Rs17 billion to KESC. The water utility has failed to pay its electricity bills for months.

KW&SB said Karachi’s water consumption stands at 650 million gallons per day (MGD), whereas the actual demand is 1080 MGD. Dhabeji pumps 580 MGD to the city every day.

A statement issued by KESC said that power supply to the pumping station was restored, and that Sindh Governor had assured the power utility of an early payment of Rs1 billion in cash and bank securities worth Rs4 billion, in accordance with Sindh High Court’s orders of February 27.

“Water board has been the largest defaulter of power bills, and this default has created a complicated and vicious circular debt issue for the power utility.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012. 

More in Sindh