PA slams KE, Hesco, Sepco over ‘highly inefficient’ service

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Provincial Assembly of Sindh unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday to condemn the “highly inefficient” service of three power distribution companies (DISCOs) causing “sheer discomfort to their consumers due to prolonged and frequent disruptions to power supply amid sweltering heat”.

The resolution against K-Electric, the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) and the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) was moved on the private members’ day of the PA by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) MPA Heer Ismail Soho.

The resolution was moved against the three DISCOs for their “sheer failure to ensure uninterrupted power supply to their consumers in different parts of the province amid sizzling weather”.

The PPP legislator demanded that the government take stern action against the three DISCOs for their “poor” performance, causing “serious inconvenience to power consumers during peak summer”. She said power consumers in Karachi had to “suffer severe mental agony every day due to the highly erratic performance of KE”.

She claimed that in certain areas power consumers had been advised to pool money to change the faulty pole-mounted transformers (PMTs) in their neighbourhoods because the power company did not accept the responsibility for installing new PMTs.

She said that there is no check on the performance of the power companies in the province, so they exercise complete freedom in choosing the timings to supply electricity to their consumers, and disconnecting power supply on account of load-shedding.

Sindh Information and Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon was of the view that KE, Hesco and Sepco have become “the most inefficient agencies in Pakistan”. He said that a power consumer in the province had been sent a highly inflated bill, while in reality the consumer in question had used merely 200 units of electricity.

The only respite the aggrieved power consumer who was sent the inflated electricity bill received was the facility of paying the same bill in instalments, he added. He also said that there are many localities in the province that are deprived of power transformers. Prolonged power load-shedding has been continuing in several areas in the province amid the prevailing intense heatwave, he added.

The minister said that an entire village was deprived of electricity on account of a few villagers who had failed to pay their electricity bills on time. He said the power companies in the province have been “violating the constitution, and the court should be moved against their unconstitutional acts”.

Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani condemned the “unjust act on the part of KE for establishing a regime of collective punishments in the city”. He said residents of an entire area had to gravely suffer due to prolonged power load-shedding due to the crime of a few people who were involved in the pilferage of electricity. He suggested that a criminal case be lodged against KE if anyone dies due to extreme weather conditions.

He also said KE has no regard for the students taking their vital annual examinations, as the exam centres are also deprived of power supply. A student who takes an exam in the absence of electricity amid hot and humid conditions cannot deliver well, he added.

The PA adopted two more private resolutions: Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmaker Rehan Ikram’s resolution urged the government to take action against the menace of beggars; PPP MPA Sadia Javed’s resolution urged the government to increase stipends for destitute women under the Benazir Income Support Programme.

During the question hour, Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hassan warned the armed bandits in the riverine belt of the province to either immediately surrender to the government or be prepared to face harsh consequences.

He assured the concerned legislators that the provincial government would not compromise on the issue of law and order. He said that a proposal is under consideration to fix head money for arresting or killing heinous dacoits.

He also said that 26,000 posts of police constables had been vacant in the province. He claimed that the law and order situation in the province had been improving due to the efforts of the provincial government.