After assurances from the government that the gas supply would go back to normal, the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) agreed to shorten load shedding to 4.5 hours, exempt industrial areas and ensure that there are no cuts during Sahar and Iftar.
This was decided at Governor House where Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain and Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan presided over a meeting with KESC CEO Tablish Gauhar.
Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had cut KESC down to 60 MMCFD because it had not paid its bills. But at the meeting, it was decided that KESC would get 200 MMCFD. For its part, the company promised it would pay everything it owed SSGC.
Tabish Gauhar brought up the bills that different government departments had racked up. They all agreed then that these offices would be given a week to pay its bills, failing which KESC would be allowed to disconnect them.
After the meeting, Dr Asim told the media that there would be no additional load shedding in Karachi and KESC would be provided furnace oil and gas without any interruption. This would bring the load shedding down from the 10 to 12 hours people have been facing.
“The government has assured us that the gas supply will be restored,” added the KESC CEO. “There will be only four and a half hours of load shedding in 24 hours. We assure our consumers that there would be no load shedding during Sahar and Iftar.” Karachi needs a total of 2,500MWs, but when the gas and furnace oil supplies were cut, the power plants started tripping, leading to load shedding.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2011.
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