KWSB urges NEPRA to charge them electric tariff as domestic


Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KW&SB) Managing Director Misbahuddin Farid has stated that in 2002 the KWSB had requested NEPRA that since the board is a public service institution, its electricity tariff should not be considered as commercial tariff.
However, NEPRA while ignoring this fact, gave a verdict in favour of a private commercial entity Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC), which was not only a grave decision but a joke meant to humiliate the citizens of the metropolis.
He said that after taking a strict stance under Tariff Rules 1998 Section 3(1), NEPRA held a pre-admit meeting held in front of Members of NEPRA. Later on, interveners were invited through newspapers ads and a hearing was held in the metropolis in that connection.
During the hearing, Barrister Farogh Naseem was representing the KW&SB, whereas representative of KESC, industrialist Arif Bilwani, Qazi Ahmed of Chamber of Commerce, Ashraf Ali of Cantonment Board and Shumail Butt of Government of Khyber Pukhtunkhuwa (KPK) Finance Department were also present as interveners.
During the meeting it was accepted that since KW&SB was a public service entity, commercial electric billing conditions did not apply to it.
He said that in their reply NEPRA accepted the KW&SB stance under section 15.1, 15.4, 15.5, 15.6 and 15.7 that 80% electric billing to KW&SB was under industrial and commercial consumer category, however, the KW&SB did not fall in this category, whereas, all other water supply institutions were being billed under the agricultural category.
NEPRA also accepted that a separate tariff must be formulated for KW&SB and all other public service institutions and NEPRA could also take suo-moto actions under rule number 3(1). He added that KW&SB was providing water to its stake holders and other utility entities on very low rates which did not helps the board’s financial situation.
Furthermore, he said that despite the fact that NEPRA and interveners accepted the KW&SB stance, NEPRA gave its verdict against the board.
After six months, NEPRA in-spite of coming up with a solution to the problem, gave its verdict against KW&SB. NEPRA answered the KW&SB queries almost after six months of the hearing as it seemed to be more concerned about the fallout.
Moreover, he said that this left the KW&SB with no choice but to either accept that decision demanding the Government of Sindh to allow KW&SB an increase in tariff or to take the matter to the court by letting the citizens suffers while the court decided the matter. MD Misbahuddin also said that they uphoed the lifeline to the economic backbone of the country and it was therefore the KW&SB’s moral and religious duty that it performed the task with all its strength.
The KW&SB MD said that the systems that they were working with were more than 20 years old. Moreover, NEPRA had placed us in a very delicate position, he added. Now if the government did not allow us to increase the water tariff or reduce the electricity tariff, the citizens would have to suffer, he said, while adding that revenue differences were not allowing them to complete the developmental work which was necessary for the system to operate smoothly in the days to come.


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