Call to nationalise KESC

KARACHI The lower middle and lower class area of the metropolis, Al-Karam square and Apsara Apartment, situated between Liaqatabad and Federal Capital area, where the 1850 flats and shops are established, faced worst law and order situation in recent days when the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation switched off their electricity due to its losses. According to a survey carried out by The Nation, it revealed that both building were most populated where the at least three families live in each flat while the rest of the population belonged to lower class segments of the society and mostly pushcarts vendors, small shops and the owners of better-leaf shops owners live in these apartments. The population mostly supports Karachi leading party, Mutahidda Qaumi Movement, while a large number of people who have come from different parts of the country also live there and earn their livelihood for their family. Last week, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, switched their electricity for al least two days and following this the area witnessed the anger of the residents when the unidentified miscreants set ablaze the billing office of the KESC established at FC area and a truck at main Liaqatabad. The dues of KESC were very old and suddenly they ordered us to pay all dues. It is it possible for us due to inflation, said the angrily resident of AL-Karam Square. The resident further said, However the KESC has claimed that after the negotiations with area MPA and MNA, the electricity was restored, but I can tell if the residents of the area had not shown their anger over this unlawful activity of the KESC, it had not did not restored the electricity on immediate basis. The Government should cancel its privatisation and run it by the consumer needs because it is an asset of people and not the entity to earn profit. The area police officer said, The reaction of resident was very hard, even law enforcements were not able to take situation under control. He informed that a large number of people including women and children have blocked the main road through installation of containers and started shouting against government and the management of the KESC. Thanks God, the administration restored their electricity, he remarks. It is the considered opinion of the experts that the present power crises are administrative and financial rather than technical, while the experience of privatisation of electricity in third world countries has demonstrated that private sector monopoly operators always try to raise tariff, expand network on commercial priority rather than consumer needs, investments are delayed, and desired reduction in power losses is not achieved. The consumers are the worst sufferers by way of non-availability of power and secondly the exorbitant high billing based of average to the tune of 30 per cent which was about 3 per cent at the time of privatisation. It has proved that the private management is unable to run this sensitive utility as it has no expertise, capability or will to make efforts for improvement instead they have the business mentality, that s why they took it hard step to switch off the electricity of Al-Karam Square and Apsara Apartment without understanding of its reaction. It is pertinent to mention here that another failure of KESC was witnessed when the residents of Nazimabad and Orangabad broke the newly installed meters and claimed that the reading of the meter was unjustified and KESC consciously installed these speedy meters in order to earn more money.

Courtesy : Nation