Cancel KE privatisation, demand activists

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Our Correspondent July 19, 2020
PHOTO: KE

KARACHI:

Shehri Awami Mahaz, an alliance of labour, human rights and social rights organisations of Karachi, has called for cancelling the privatisation of K-Electric (KE), previously known as Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).

National Trade Union Federation’s (NTUF) Nasir Mansoor, in a press conference on Saturday, accused former president Pervez Musharraf and former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz of privatising KESC under a fraudulent deal.

He pointed out that when the company was being privatised, the authorities said the state was sustaining an undue burden of subsidies due to the company. However, he added, despite being privatised, the company was being offered subsidies of Rs41 billion annually, but people were suffering in the wait for an uninterrupted power supply.

"The government, National Accountability Bureau and National Electric Power Regulatory Authority have given KE a free hand for breaking laws because its owner is close to the current ruling party," claimed Workers Rights Movement’s Gul Rahman.He added that KE’s power could be gauged from the fact that it owed billions but no institution in the country had the power to recover the money from it.

Home Based Women Workers Federation general secretary Zehra Khan claimed that over 100 illegal hydrants in the city were earning Rs90 billion each year by selling the people's share of water back to them. "At the moment, the water tanker mafia is making more money than the drug mafia."

She added that the 'tanker mafia' was also endangering the urban environment and health by pumping out 150MGD of water daily.

The activists demanded to cancel KE's privatization or hand it over to the democratic control of the citizens, withdraw the electricity tariff hike and stop over-billing. They also called for the city's illegal hydrants to be shut down with immediate effect and the improvement of Karachi's water supply infrastructure.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2020.

COMMENTS (1)

Ali | 1 year ago | Reply

As per K Electric officials these days Demand of electricity in Karachi is around 3600 MW whereas K electric is able to produce 3200 MW which creates the shortfall of 400 MW, after which K Electric started Extra Load Shading in Low Loss or Load Shading Free Area as well of Karachi to overcome this shortfall. K Electric is doping almost upto 8 hours load shading in Very High Loss Area and upto 3 Hours in Low Loss Area which are exempted from Load Shading and even these Low Loss areas are facing electricity outage on daily basis even at night after 11 PM, and similarly almost more than 70% of Karachi is facing load shading at late night after 11 PM in the name of shortage of supply of Electricity. Karachi is one of the largest business and commercial activity hub of Pakistan. We may assume that in current demand 3600 MW at-least 35% (1200 MW) is required for Commercial activities and remaining 65% (2400 MW) is required by Consumer/ House hold personals of Karachi. Because of COVID-19 outbreak as per government SOPs all more than 70% of commercial activities of Karachi are shutdown at 7 PM and reaming 30% (i.e. Restaurants, Bakery, and Milk Shops) are also closed at 10 PM sharp. After the closer of the 70% of commercial activities at 7 PM we may assume that Demand of electricity should be reduced by at-least 800 MW at 7 PM and remaining demand of Electricity is less than 3000 MW whereas K Electric is producing 3200 MW. So question is here that after 7PM when demand is lowers than supply than why City of Light is facing Load Shading in the name of Low Supply even after 11 PM and disturbing the house holds personals.

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