KARACHI - Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) owes the liabilities of Rs. 7.5 billion payable to Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), said Naveed Ismail, CEO KESC, in an interview to The Nation on Tuesday. He added the KESC owed only Rs. 100 million payable to KWSB, which was almost negligible as compared to the debts in the past. Not only the KWSB but also other government departments also owe Rs2 billion to the KESC. Giving details, Naveed said the KESC had paid Rs8.5 billion to WAPDA and Rs18.5 billion to the SSGC, an amount more than the previous owners of the company paid. He mentioned the company was facing Rs1 to Rs1.5 billion losses every month. Loadshedding has been curtailed significantly but if power outages occur it is only due to cable faults, he said. He elaborated the financial commitments that the new KESC had in its original agreement, made a commitment to invest a total of $361m, which would facilitate a total investment of over $800 million in generation, transmission and distribution over the next three years. So far, the board of directors has approved right shares of $176m as of last week, while $87m have already been injected prior to the deal last week, with a further $15m of brought-forward investment being made this month, to take the total to $102m invested between September and June, said Naveed. For new generation purposes, the new management has made a down payment of $ 56 million, he added. During a press briefing, Naveed said that steps had been taken to improve KESCs fragile distribution system, the maintenance of 81 worst feeders to reduce fault issue; 67 feeders had been repaired and 15 to 30 per cent faults were reduced, this maintenance of feeders would be completed by the end of June. Moreover, new jumpers improve connection between circuits saving the system from overheating. And by August 2009, 64 feeders will be maintained; by the end of financial year 2010, a total of 40,000 conductors will be replaced, he added. Naveed declared that during the next 10 months, the company would be producing a total of 450MW additional electricity. A further 220 MW will be added during this month, 90 MW by July, and 90 MW by the end of October this year. He said four new grid stations had started functioning while three more would be commissioned by the end of 2009. A well-organised drive to grant new connections is underway and the company will bring 32 per cent increase in the reconnection ratio. Integrated Business Centres (IBCs) have been launched to control theft, improve billing and to upgrade customer service. Three more IBCs will start work by September this year. We have decided to eliminate electricity theft, Naveed declared. There will be no end to loadshedding until the theft is controlled. To achieve this end, a close co-operation among local bodies, media and the general public is need of the hour. Over 30 per cent of the total electricity generated and acquired by the KESC from all its sources is stolen, he disclosed. Moreover, 40,000 illegal kunda connections have been removed from different parts of the metropolis. The current phase of anti-theft campaign will continue till August this year and in June and July KESC will conduct a total of 10,000 of raids. Almost 70 per cent consumers pay their bills. Inevitably, non-paying consumers use excessive electricity which directly increases load-shedding, he said. Naveed added that during the coming monsoon season, the KESC would work in close coordination with CDGK. To combat rain emergencies, a pre-emptive Crisis Management Centre will start operation by June. Additionally, the 118 help-line has been upgraded to meet increased call volumes in recent weeks. He further said the KESC employees needed police protection to disconnect and investigate illegal power connections. We need the people to speak against those who steal and those who encourage theft of electricity. We need more inclusion and partnership.