Two weeks ago, on July 10, K-Electric’s (KE) CEO, Moonis Alvi, faulted the insufficient supply of furnace oil as an explanation for the loadshedding in Karachi, leading to an investigation by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) as a result. Exploring the matter exposed the inefficiency of KE as a Distribution Company (DISCO) thereby putting its contract under potential suspension. In the end, what has been highlighted is the dire need for a new DISCO to take over electricity supply in Karachi and provide its people with much-needed relief.

Shockingly, seven hours without electricity was the norm in Karachi. Now, citizens can expect power outages to last for 13 hours. Without an end to their inconvenience in sight, public unrest continues to grow, especially considering that KE has not lived up to its promise of bridging the oil supply deficit, renovating the transmission systems or completing the Rs.84 billion Bin Qasim Power Plant-III. Negligence, apathy and self-gain is promoted by the distributor at the expense of the wellbeing of the public. If not adhering to the needs of the city, what has KE been doing all this time? Clearly, such incompetence forced NEPRA to issue a show-cause notice that would suspend their contract if a reasonable justification for inaction is not given by KE within the next 15 days.

There is no doubt that the failure to comply with its responsibilities does not lie on external factors but KE’s own inability to establish durable infrastructure. Even if the federal government grants them additional supply, KE’s system will not be able to take the load and distribute electricity across Karachi. Perhaps it is in the best interest of the public if NEPRA looks towards establishing a new DISCO that is proficient enough to cater to the needs of the populous city and proactive in its actions.