KARACHI    -   K-Electric (KE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moonis Alvi said on Monday that the power utility would inject more than Rs.250 billion in next three years to improve the system of power distribution so that loadshedding and other related issues could be resolved.

While speaking at a hearing of public complaints against the metropolis’ sole power supplier, which was held under the auspices of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) here, K-Electric CEO Alvi said the city’s sole power supplier had boosted power infrastructure by 104%. The hearing was attended by people from different walks of life as well as officials of the K-Electric.

During the hearing, public representatives Karachi’s traders, industrialists and mainly consumers kept chanting slogans against the KE on which NEPRA Chairman Tauseef Farooqui suspended the hearing for half an hour.

The hearing took ugly turn when former Sindh governor Kamalud Din Azfar took a jibe at Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) for ‘earning ‘huge amount’ from privatization of the then Karachi Electric Supply Corporation but he faced severe reaction from the party’s lawmakers Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Hafiz Osama Qadri.

Both sides kept hurling remarks against each while the chairman tried to persuade them but upon failure, he called of the hearing.

“There are 350 loss and very high loss feeders in Karachi,” KE chief told the gathering.

Earlier, NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi said that goal of the hearing was not to take a decision, but to listen to the problems of people of the provincial capital. “We are here to work on a single point agenda,” NEPRA chairman said, adding that people of Karachi will inform us (NEPRA) of the ground realities.

He further said if KE was not providing quality services to its consumers, then it is our (NEPRA) duty to look into such matters immediately. “Hopefully, the citizens present here will present their case well,” he said.

Addressing the K-Electric chairman, NEPRA chairman asked as to why the prepaid billing system had not been introduced by the company so far.

Speaking on the occasion, MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said a resolution, demanding other power suppliers besides K-Electric, was passed unanimously in the Sindh Assembly.

“Every third consumer in Karachi has paid his or her fine,” the MQM-P leader said, adding that the industrial consumers paid more than Rs1.5 billion in fines as well.

“No one has approached the consumer court as yet,” Hassan said, and said that the K-Electric had committed the grave violation of the users’ rights protection forum.

Jibran Nasir, an activist, said purpose of the hearing was to decide whether to end K-Electric’s exclusive rights to distribute electricity to different parts of Karachi and allow other players to compete in the market as well given KE’s failure to ensure safe and uninterrupted supply of electricity. Industrialist Siraj Qasim Teli also spoke on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, majority of people said that they were facing issues like overbilling, fines and unscheduled loadshedding in the port city.