There is a theft of national wealth in almost every government department, but perhaps Wapda tops them all. There are all kinds of businesses under jurisdiction of Wapda subdivision such as flourmills, showrooms, hotels, tube wells and so on, which consume a large bulk of electricity. Perhaps, driven by the high cost of electricity, the owners of such businesses try to seek an understanding with the SDO’s of the area who, in return for a certain consideration, can make things easy for them.

Another source of private income in Wapda is encroachment by high-tension wires passing over private homes. At the time of laying these 11KV cables, the Wapda officials, it seems, made it a point to overrun private properties using the 1920 Electricity Act- originally an extension of East India Company rules. Under this Act, if the property owner wants to have the dangerous overhead wires removed, he must pay an exorbitant sum unaffordable by ordinary people. On the other hand, they are given an off the record choice to privately pay a smaller amount and immediately get rid of the danger to their lives. Such underhanded tactics have made some Wapda officials millionaires while bankrupting the people.

I request NEPRA to keep in mind these facts while hitting the common electricity consumer with heavy billing arrears under pretext of fuel price adjustment charges, a practice so common nowadays.

SHAUKAT ALI,

Muzaffargarh, January 7.