Karachi Electric Supply Company restores power supply to Dhabeji water pumping on chief secretary assurance to pay Karachi water and sewerage board dues

Karachi: Karachi Electric Supply Company has appreciated the assurance by Chief Secretary Sindh to pay Water Board dues in next few days and based on these assurances, KESC reconnected power supply to Dhabeji pumping station that it had on Saturday morning disconnected for non-payment of longstanding dues of Rs. 16.69 billion after the Government-run Water Board failed to pay despite a 7-day final notice for payment of atleast Rs. 1 Billion.

Important to note here is that the Water Board had failed to make regular even its monthly power dues to KESC in spite of the decision taken at Governor House meetings. KESC said that despite the non-payment of the dues within the stipulated 7 days, power to Dhabeji water pumping had been restored on the commitment and demanded payment of entire outstanding amount without further delay.

KESC said that the Board consumes electricity worth Rs. 35 crore every month but has not been responding positively to pay its bills in the interest of water needs of the Metropolis. On the other hand, KESC has constantly been strained with respect to its cash flows due to the burgeoning receivables, the leading outstanding of which Rs. 16.69 Billion is receivable from KWSB alone.

These constraints have been making it increasingly difficult for KESC to keep regular its payments to strategic partners like SSGC against its gas purchase bill. This has brought both KESC and SSGC under the burden of circular debt. KESC had last week served final notice upon Water Board to pay at least Rs. 1 billion in seven days or face disconnection. The Board did not oblige but for paying a meager 10 per cent, Rs. 100 million.

The Water Board has a history of habitually defaulting on its monthly power bill for a long time. During the past four months, it paid only Rs. 15 crore, while its outstanding bill accumulated from Rs. 15,706,713,192 in November 2011 to Rs. 16,694,106,248 in January 2012. As against that, the Board paid Rs. 5 crore in November and Rs. 10 crore in February in violation of its commitment at Governor House meetings.

KESC stated that the release of the outstanding payments owed to it by KWSB, would aid to a great extent in making or forwarding those payments to SSGC on account of the monthly gas purchase. Hence it is hoped that the KWSB’s dues would soon be paid directly to SSGC to offset and payables by the power utility to the gas company and it expressed hope that the first step in this case with respect to the billion rupee notice, would be the clearance of the remaining Rs. 900 million which can be forwarded to SSGC.

KESC has also been exempting the water pumping stations of load shedding in all circumstances, even the worst situations when fuel shortage had forced the utility to enhance the duration and expand the scope of load shedding. KESC has also been offering to bear half the cost of its internal cable replacement. Finally the power utility had been forced to default on its gas bill because Water Board was not paying.

On the contrary, the Water Board management has been taking advantage of the situation considering it a weakness of KESC. The Board has been exploiting the City’s water needs as a lethal excuse for non-payment, on the false pretext that it could always hide behind the public despair if power supply to water pumping stations were disconnected.

In spite of committing to pay at least their current monthly bills regularly in a meeting at Governor House, the Water Board has not been paying at all. It has rather grown in its irresponsibility finally making the people to suffer. This irresponsibility had been harming the smooth supply of all the three essential utilities to the city: water, gas and electricity.

KESC said that the irresponsible and almost blackmailing attitude of KW and SB not only added to the power utility’s load of circular debt but also enhanced the misery of the already hard pressed population of Karachi.

KESC said the citizens had a right to question the Water Board’s inefficiency and hold its management accountable for defaulting on paying its power bills.

For more information, contact:
Adil Murtaza
Assistant Manager, Media and PR
Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11, Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 7163
Cell: +92346 822 3641
Email: adil.murtaza@kesc.com.pk

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