KESC misdeeds and the abuse of power

After inspecting my faultless metre, the KESC employee proceeded to break it and reported it as a case of tampering.

Nojeba Haider October 31, 2010
It was 6 pm and I had just entered my home after a long, hectic day at the office, when the bell rang and a very efficient looking KESC team for the Defence area came in, claiming that according to Section 20 of the Electric Act 1910, they were required to carry out an inspection of the electricity metre.

As per the rules, our meter is installed outside the house, where I took the team so that they could carry out the inspection. As one of them inspected the electricity metre thoroughly, he found no fault in its operation. Then the other officer started hitting a screw driver against the glass covering, saying he thought he saw Elfy super glue on it. In the process of hitting it, he cracked a bit of the glass covering.

I was in complete shock, when he conveniently wrote “hole in metre body” in the inspection report and claimed that we had been tampering with the electric metre, as the holes had existed before and he was just trying to expose them. We were informed that our power supply would be cut off if we did not meet a KESC officer. I was appalled at the dishonesty and it made my blood boil, but it was a useless argument at that point, as the officers simply shrugged and walked off without a tinge of guilt for their unscrupulous act.

So is this how KESC meets its targets? By sabotaging their own equipment and then penalizing honest customers who have a regular payment history?

For the past six months, we have been paying ridiculously high electricity bills of Rs 13,000 and Rs 10,000. My question to KESC is: if we were tampering with the metre, why in the world would we be paying such high electricity bills?

As if the unscheduled load shedding and low voltage didn’t cause enough agony, KESC has now decided to torture its customers by sabotaging their own equipment and squeezing penalties out of honest people.

KESC talks a lot about its new theft campaign and crackdowns. Perhaps first their own employees should be fired and penalised for fraud and corruption. Their inability to control theft is primarily because many of KESC’s own employees are involved in providing illegal connections to areas in Karachi. Since their targets cannot be met, the solution they find is bribery and sabotage.
Nojeba Haider A corporate banker based in Karachi. Nojeba tweets @nojeba.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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