The dispute between the Karachi Electric Supply Company’s (KESC) management and union leaders reached a stalemate after union leaders rejected the prime minister’s committee.
They declared that its members do not care about the workers’ interests and are incapable of tackling the technical issues within KESC. “The government should replace members in the committee with Senator Raza Rabbani, Senator Taj Haider, Syed Khursheed Shah, Shazia Marri and Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah,” said Peoples Workers Union general secretary Lateef Mughal. The government should hire electrical engineers from private sectors to look into KESC’s electricity generation methods, he added.
He claimed that their plants can generate 1,941 megawatts (MW) and have an effective capacity of around 1,500MW. KESC is limiting power generation to 800MW to 900MW leading to a shortfall of 900 MW to 1000MW, which is as much energy that is saved in 12 hours of load-shedding.
KESC is conducting 14 hours of load-shedding. It blames it on low gas supply, reduced furnace oil and manhandling of outsourced repair and maintenance personnel by union workers.
However, KESC unions leaders have denied accusations of sabotaging repair work. KESC has refused to comment on their power generation capacity and production, the number of faults and customer complaints or the amount of electricity they receive from other power distribution companies.
The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (Kanupp) near Hawkes Bay is supplying KESC with 80MW through the National Transmission and Distribution Company NTDC. The plant has been closed for seven months for maintenance.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2011.
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