Finally, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has decided to scrutinise K-Electric’s (KE) power distribution licence and change its terms. With the aim to dissolve KE’s monopoly over the distribution of electricity, NEPRA made a welcomed advance towards expansion—to the relief of many across Karachi. Surely, upon reaching this critical junction, the importance of rectifying the energy crisis in the city is not lost upon authorities and the importance of proactive action in the future is reinforced.

KE’s incompetence in regards to the provision of electricity across the metropolis seemed to have heightened in the last few months with citizens experiencing excessive billing, loadshedding, complete power outages, suffering from electrocution and a myriad of other issues. It took the entire system to collapse for authorities to pass regulations like the NEPRA Act according to which, KE’s exclusive right to provide distribution services has been revoked. Furthermore, new provisions allow for new licences for the sale or supply of electric power to be issued to consumers, deeming them as suppliers for the following five years. Surely, this is bound to correct the distribution network deficit that KE helped nurture throughout the course of decades. As a result, the responsibility of the provision of electricity is diluted to a number of providers better able to cater to the demands of the people.

Fortunately, the time has come that operational inefficiency is countered in Karachi and the woes of the people are addressed. The one thing that we can learn from all this is never to wait for the last straw, or complete destruction, to take action. Adopting a methodical approach from the get go is sure to prevent such conditions from manifesting. In this vein, NEPRA, and other authorities, should induce the concept of taking partial periodic reviews into the regulatory mechanism to ensure fulfilment of obligations and promote accountability.