The day KESC actually responded
Despite the incessant burning of tyres and negative news, one can still encounter positive moments in life.
At a time when the majority of Karachi’s localities are suffering from major electricity issues and when every day we hear or read about public protests against power outages, I would like to highlight an incident with a happy ending.
The power broke down in my area at around 4pm last Saturday, and I lodged a complaint to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) shortly afterwards. However, it wasn’t until 6pm in the evening that I realised the gravity of the situation. It seemed that the only street in the entire area that was suffering from electricity outage was mine – a power issue likely not big enough to stir the utility company into action.
This was also evident from the response of the KESC complaint centre, which continued to report that while my complaint had been registered and passed on to the relevant people, they could not update me on either the nature of the problem or the approximate resolution time - a statement us Karachiites are used to, and well-aware that it probably means it could be days before any progress would be made.
Luckily I was able to get in touch with a KESC official responsible for distribution and complaint resolution for our area through a relative. What happened then was nothing short of a miracle (at least for a Karachiite).
The complaint lodged at the centre had not reached the area officials, but I was assured that a technical team would be on site momentarily to assess the nature of the problem. Lo and behold, within half an hour a truck was actually on site and after a short technical examination, the KESC team found that the copper breakers of the distribution box serving the street had been stolen.\
Infuriated, the technical team arranged for and replaced the stolen breakers at what was now 10pm in the night.
The issue was resolved in six hours. As long as that time period might seem, this could easily have been mistaken for a power outage issue and could have lasted the whole weekend, if not more.
While theft of distribution equipment and complaints lost in the void at the KESC complaint centre are not anything new to Karachiites, the response and the effort made by the KESC at the time was certainly more than commendable.
I write this piece, not only as appreciation for the officials and staff responsible for the swift problem resolution but also to highlight the little good things which still surround us in our everyday lives.
It is instances and events such as these which are being drowned out in incessant images of burning tyres, aircrafts in flames and the consistent rants of analysts on our television sets and in our newspapers.
In essence, this piece is merely a feel good story but it is a story, multiples of which are required in these dark times, to find a much-needed silver lining.