The threat of a power crisis that the country would face in the coming years was raised by us in 1994, when a group of concerned citizens had filed a Public Interest Litigation petition against KESC in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Since then, citizens have repeatedly raised this issue at various forums, through seminars, debates, TV Talk shows and even through street riots. In one TV talk show, a former KESC, MD, had bluntly stated that the KESC management was “misguiding the public” and that the present power crisis was administrative and financial and not technical. He then added that, “the management is not spending any money for the purchase of furnace oil. The generating units are not running at full capacity and power is not being purchased from IPPs as per their full capacity. As such, the gap between supply and demand has widened, leading to the worst loadshedding the country has ever faced”.

In 1994, line losses due to theft, out dated distribution system, were 30 percent, but instead of reducing these losses, KESC failed to take appropriate action and now, according to experts, these losses have increased to over 40 percent. Even past and present, civilian and military governments, had also ignored the problem, and had taken a ‘Quick Fix’ solution, by allowing the import of IPP plants, which turned out to be the mother of all scams! No doubt no one has a magic wand that can fix the power crisis immediately, but there are workable solutions given below, which we had presented to the Supreme Court also, which, if enforced, with zero tolerance policy, could help in reducing the loadshedding in the country.

There should be staggered holidays for industries, offices and shopping areas and Malls. Industries should introduce two ten hour shifts. All shopping Malls, wedding halls, hotels, restaurants, parks, etc., must close by 8 pm or use generators. All billboards lights, etc., must be switched off by 10 pm or run on generators. KESC should launch, with the help of the LEA, action against bill defaulters, whose payable amount exceeds Rs. 10,000.

However, this action is only workable if all stakeholders are taken on board and include senior members of FPCCI, KCCI, Small Traders Association, etc., and of course, KESC. Until the consumers also play there due role as responsible citizens, this country will continue to suffer loadshedding and face a long hot summer.

HAMID MAKER,

Karachi, June 4.