Thank the governor that your tap’s still running!


The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) restored power supply to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) including the Dhabeji pumping station on Tuesday after the Sindh governor assured the power utility of an early payment of Rs 1 billion in cash and Rs 4 billion in bank securities as per the Sindh High Court orders on February 27.
According to a press statement issued by the KESC, the power utility disconnected electricity supply to the water board when the latter, in violation of court orders, had failed to pay its dues within the 21-day grace period given by the court.
The KWSB neither deposited cash, nor provided bank securities to the nazir of the court as per the verdict.
The KESC had sent a final disconnection notice to the KWSB on February 16, but had accepted the grace period granted to the board.
However, when the KWSB failed to pay its dues, the KESC, under Section 24(1) of the Electricity Act 1910, disconnected power supply to the board including Dhabeji pumping station.
Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, taking note of the critical situation, contacted the KESC authorities and assured them of an early payment of the dues, following which the power utility restored the power supply.
The KESC said the water board has been the largest defaulter of power bills and this default has created a very complicated and vicious circular debt issue for the power utility.
The undue burden on the power utility’s already constrained financial position and limited resources has caused a huge deficit of cash inflow making it difficult to pay off its dues to its strategic fuel suppliers.
Also, despite the longstanding dues, the KESC has exempted all KWSB pumping stations from load shedding as well, only in recognition of the important role that the water board plays in the daily lives of the citizens; a fact exploited by the water utility to continue with its default behavior, the power utility said in the statement.
The KESC further said supplying water to the city consumers is a sacred responsibility upon the government-run water board and its management needs to realise its vital role in providing this most essential daily use commodity to its consumers.
However, the irresponsible and rather negative role by the water board has caused great difficulties for water consumers of the city for which the board’s management was solely and directly responsible.
The KESC asked the water board to take immediate steps for payment of electricity dues as per governor’s assurance in order to save the citizens from acute water shortage.