KARACHI - Karachi Electric Supply Company has rejected irresponsible claims by the Water Board that it was not liable to pay monthly electricity bills under some “agreement”.

This is in contradiction to KWSB’s own stance earlier, whereby they had consented to deposit Rs5 billion with the Court Nazir, reference to Sindh High Court’s orders.

KESC stated that KWSB was consuming electricity free of cost while showing defiance towards clearance of its pending power bills of billions rupees.

The power utility said that every consumer was bound to pay their bills and no excuse could be entertained in this regard. It seems that the Water Board is confused regarding KESC’s role and might be thinking that the KESC is also responsible of supplying water to the city.

KESC is in the business of generating, transmitting and distributing power and it cannot afford such generosity by virtue of providing free electricity. Power generation is a very costly affair and it needs regular inflow of hard cash to purchase fuel to run the power plants, maintain transmission lines and manage such a vast distribution system.

KESC further said that it was totally irresponsible and baseless for Water Board chief to blame the KESC for their own internal failures and shortcomings. Previously, the Board had been ordered by the High Court to pay Rs1 billion to KESC through Court Nazir and deposit a bank guarantee for another Rs4 billion but it violated the order and did not pay at all.

In November 2011, during meetings at Governor House the Board authorities had agreed to regularly pay their current power bills but they had violated that agreement too.

KESC said that Water Board was trying to blackmail the general public by threatening scarcity of water in the City, which was in direct violation of its official responsibilities. Instead of looking for excuses and issuing undue threats, all the Board was supposed to do was to pay its power bills regularly.

KESC had, on its own, been exempting the water pumps from loadshedding since long as a humble contribution for the benefit of citizens. But the continuing bill default and blackmailing attitude of Water Board had forced the power utility to take care of its own house where shortage of cash inflow had created great hardships and vital payment issues especially in respect of buying of fuel to run its power plants.

As a result of power generation shortfall caused by non-payment of such huge amounts as Rs17 billion outstanding towards Water Board, the KESC had not been left with enough electricity production daily to exempt water pumps from loadshedding anymore.

KESC advised the KWSB to abide by the Sindh High Court orders and deposit the promised cheque with the Court without further delay. In future too, instead of looking for lame excuses, the Board needed to pay its bills regularly and fulfil its official responsibility to provide water to the citizens.