KESC given 3 days to restore industrial units’ power


Taking serious notice of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC)’s move of disconnecting power supply industries having captive power plants, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Monday issued an order to restore supply to the affected industries within the next three days.
The KESC had illegally disconnected electricity supply to around 92 industries despite clear restraining order numbered TCD 09/805-2012 issued by the NEPRA on March 5, 2012.
During a public hearing on KESC’s petition filed for increasing around Rs 3 for the months of September, October and November 2011, the NEPRA noticed the outburst of dozens of industrial representatives against the power company’s move of disconnecting supply while bypassing all rules and regulations.
The authority later issued an on-the-spot notice to the KESC, instructing to restore the power supply to the industries within three days.
The hearing, held at the NIPA office, was attended by NEPRA Chairman Khalid Saeed and other members of the government body including Shoukat Kundi, Ghiasuddin and Akbar Khilji.
To oppose KESC’s petition, prominent industrial representatives from the seven trade associations of the city including Qazi Ahmed Kamal, Muhammad Irfan Moton, Javed Bilwani, Aarif Bilwani and Muhammad Hamid among others were also present at the meeting, besides the office bearers of KESC Share Holders Association, including its General Secretary Chaudhry Mazhar Ali.
The KESC was defended by its officials Abdur Rauf Yousuf and Rizwan.
Soon after the start of the hearing, industrialists complained to the regulatory authority that despite paying their dues regularly, power supply to their units was disconnected by the Abraaj-led power utility.
The NEPRA chairman asked the KESC why it was violating the already-mentioned rules.
The regulatory authority was of the view that the KESC being a service provider was not authorised by NEPRA to disconnect any power except in three conditions according to consumer service manual (CSM) by NEPRA i.e. “A premises is liable to be disconnected if the consumer is a defaulter in making payment of the energy consumption charges bill; if he is using the electric connection for a purpose other than for which it was sanctioned; and if he has extended his load beyond the sanctioned load even after receipt of a notice in this respect from the power distribution companies (DISCOs)”.
“As the industrial consumers are neither defaulters nor have increased their loads or do they indulge in any illegal abstraction of power, there is no provision in NEPRA rules to give cover to the KESC to sever power in the fourth condition,” the NEPRA observed. “Both the end user and the KESC are ordered to abide by the CSM”.
During the hearing, a power consumer also stood up complaining that he was being issued television fee in both electricity bills he receives from KESC.
Highlighting the issue, another complainant also questioned as to why the television fees was including in the bills issued to mosques and imambargahs.
The KESC Share Holders Association general secretary pointed out that despite collecting the fee for the last three years, the KESC was not paying the same to the Pakistan Television (PTV).
However, the KESC representative claimed that the company owed only a small amount to the PTV.
Defending its petition seeking fuel adjustment surcharges, the KESC claimed that due to the reduction of gas supply from Sui Southern Gas Company, it had burned 73,000 metric tonnes (MT) and 87,000 MT furnace oil during October and November.
“To adjust the additional expenditures, the power company has asked the authority for allowing it to pass on Rs 2/kwh and Rs 1.6/kwh to the consumers against the fuel used in the two respective months,” it said.
The KESC, however, sought reduction of 62 paisa/unit for the month of September last year.
However, Ali alleged that as the KESC management was purchasing fuel from its sister company – Byco – through open trucks there are doubts that whether the mentioned quantity of oil was consumed or not. Doubting the reports of auditors, who were paid by the KESC, he also suspected bogus invoices.
Ending the hearing, the NEPRA officials assured that proper investigations of the fuel supply issue would also be made by the regulatory authority.