ISLAMABAD             -        Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz has directed Nepra, Discos and the gas companies to resolve public complaints on priority basis.  

The issue of unscheduled loadshedding and over-billing came under discussion during a meeting held at the Ombudsman secretariat. The Ombudsman also directed the electricity distribution entities for giving 7 clear days to public to deposit the electricity bills so that they don’t face any hardship, according to the officials.

The representatives of Nepra and the electric distribution companies were directed to resolve public complaints especially pertaining to unscheduled loadshedding and over billing on priority basis. He also asked them to take fool-proof measures to avoid electrocution with a direction that disciplinary proceedings must be initiated for negligence in this regard. 

According to the officials, K-Electric has been unable to meet supply demand and they were struggling to meet this shortage. The IESCO and LESCO have complete energy as per demand and they have zero loadshedding.  The PESCO has been facing 38 percent pilferage of the total supply as a large number of consumers were not paying bills, therefore they have to go for loadshedding. The Ombudsman has directed PESCO to make a comprehensive retrieval plan to resolve these issues and submit it in the next meeting.  

The Ombudsman directed that wherever Demand Notices have been issued to public either for approved or unapproved localities, electricity connections must be provided to them. He also directed Nepra to ensure printing of WMS complaint filling message on electricity bills by all Discos. He also directed to mention the meter reading data with date to determine its cost. He also directed to revise slab rates because now the Discos have extreme lesser shortfall of electricity.  

Furthermore, the Federal Ombudsman asked OGRA, SNGPL and SSGPL to implement all decisions passed by the Federal Ombudsman by 20th August. He was of the view that during the year 2019 and in first 6 month of 2020, complaints against gas companies have raised by 120 percent. He directed OGRA to monitor the complaint management system of both the gas companies. He directed OGRA to find out the reasons for increasing public complaints against gas companies and submission of report within two weeks.

The Federal Ombudsman said that poor response by WMS Regional Offices, Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur have been reported and directed MD SSGPL to take strict measures for poor response and non-compliance.