Even after numerous TV programs, seminars, press reports, articles and Suo Motto action by the CJP against the KESC tariff increase it has not been possible to shame the shameless KESC and it seems the end of load shedding and tariff increase is a distant dream. As such, after months of preparation, the Law Foundation, SHC Bar Association, Helpline Trust, Shehri-CBE and 13 other citizens have filed a Constitutional Petition in the SHC against NEPRA and KESC and others. The petition was heard by Honble J. Mushir Alam and J. Sajjad Ali Shah and was represented by Adv. Javed Siddiqui and Adv. Abid Shirazi. Our plea has challenged the tariff hike, the qualifications of Nepra Chairman, and NEPRA for not penalizing KESC and for not adhering to the Guaranteed Standards of NEPRA Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules, 2005. According to the Guaranteed Standards of Performance, KESC is restricted to: (i) no more than 60 unplanned power supply interruptions, no more than 88 hours of unplanned power supply interruptions, no more than 16 planned power supply interruptions and no more than 80 hours of unplanned power supply interruptions in a year. It is obvious that KESC has been making a mockery of these guaranteed standards with their inefficient performance and mismanagement. And NEPRA, instead of penalizing them as per its rules, has relegated its authority to only that of a post-office. It accepts KESC tariff petitions and meekly forwards them to the Federal Government, without enforcing its authority in other spheres. Even the appointment of the present Chairman, NEPRA, is in clear violation of the rules and selection standards set by the Regulatory Body itself. Due to the biased and lenient attitude adopted by Nepra towards KESC, the citizens of Karachi are being subjected to the inhuman suffering because of unannounced and unabated power shut downs and periodical tariff increases. And NEPRA, instead of exercising its duty of guarding the interests of the consumers, which is its primary duty, is abetting and supporting KESC in its illegal and unlawful activities. Though the court has sent notice to the concerned authority and has set a date for the coming month, the petition will not solve Karachis problems, as we all know how the courts in Pakistan work. Therefore, public pressure will have to continue. To maintain this pressure, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Helpline Trust had organized a seminar on 'The Power Crisis in Karachi at FPCCI House, Clifton last week. Those who had spoken at the seminar, included Zakaria Usman, VP, FPCCI, Taj Haider, Former Senator, PPP, Engr. G. R. Bhatti Former GM, KESC, Adv. Javed Siddqi, The Law Foundation and yours truly. Taj Haider had stressed that KESC should reduce its line losses and upgrade the distribution system on a war footing. The government should also examine as to how to increase power generation and allow industries to set up their own small power generating plants. Zakaria Usman had highlighted the disastrous effect of the power crises on the industries in Karachi. He said that due to load shedding, many industries in SITE were forced to close down, creating loss in valuable foreign exchange due to a drop in export revenue and an increase in unemployment, which could lead to a serious law and order situation. Eng. Bhatti had given a detailed presentation of why KESC had failed to deliver electricity to the city of Karachi and how the matter could be put right. He also added that it will not be possible to arrange the required Generation to meet the short fall by December, 2009 to end the load shedding, due to the slow pace of progress of Projects,. He was also of the view that the crisis of KESC is financial rather than technical, as the management is not procuring the required quantity of Furnace Oil to run their Generating Station to full capacity and are not purchasing power from IPPs according to their capacity. However, the attendance and participation by the FPCCI members at the seminar was disappointing, as except for Zakaria Osman, none of the senior office bearers or our 'Pillars of Industry and Business were present. Helpline Trust and other citizens had filed a similar petition against KESC in the SC of Pakistan in 98. and gone through the same disappointing exercise 12 years back. Recommendations had been submitted and the SC had ordered KESC management to implement those recommendations, but due the lack of support and public pressure, as even now, no positive results were achieved. Even if 30% of those recommendations had been implemented, Karachi would not be facing this terrible situation. Even now, we are being misguided and according to experts, load shedding would not end and Karachi would continue to suffer. At the same time, the GOP has sidelined the Privatisation Commission and given protection to KESC in an 'Amended Agreement, which could lead to terrible consequences for Karachi. The 'amendment has removed the cap of seven years on tariff increase and is meant to give a free hand to KESC to charge the masses, who are already heavily burdened by many taxes in different heads. Therefore the consumers are likely to face around three rupees per unit tariff. The reason that no private power plant is being set up in Karachi is, because KESC is refusing to sign long term Power Purchase Agreement with the Karachi based IPPs. At the same time, the government is refusing to give a Sovereign Guarantee to Karachi IPPs on KESC none performance for payment, as is being provided to other IPPs elsewhere in Pakistan by the government. Therefore, banks refuse to finance Karachi based IPPs, as payments are not guaranteed. From the above facts, for some unexplainable reason, the GOP is deliberately trying to cripple this city of lights, which is also the commercial and industrial backbone of the country. In my last ST article on KESC, I had mentioned that according to experts, the June 17-18 power crisis was mainly due to bad management. Well that problem still exists, so be ready for further long 'BLACK OUTS. Sleep well and sweet dreams. I shall, because I wont be here to shed any tears. For the record, Ph 1V, DHA has been without electricity for over 12, since the rains on Saturday morning. E-mail: trust@super.net.pk