KARACHI, July 23: The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) restored power supply to the Pakistan Steel Mills on Tuesday after a cheque for Rs250 million was cleared and the PSM gave 25 post-dated cheques for the remaining Rs680 million to the power utility.

“The post-dated cheques for the remaining amount of Rs680 million have to be cleared before Aug 15,” said a KESC spokesman.

The KESC had disconnected power supply to the PSM on July 17 due to non-payment of their electricity dues amounting up to Rs930 million. Earlier, the Sindh High Court had also ordered the PSM to pay their outstanding dues of March, April and May.It was only after the KESC disconnected their power that the PSM took them seriously and decided to meet with the KESC management. At first they offered to pay the KESC Rs250 million up front with Rs20 million per day in order to clear the dues. After getting the cheque for Rs250 million, the KESC showed some compromise and restored power supply to the Steel Mills’ residential area.

In their next meeting, Steel Mills management went back on its earlier offer of also paying Rs20 million a day to say that they could only pay Rs10 million daily. They also asked for an extension to pay the entire amount from the earlier Aug 7 date to Aug 15, something the KESC wasn’t very happy about as the power utility was of the opinion that they couldn’t supply electricity to the mill in return for mere promises. They wanted Steel Mills to at least present them with post-dated cheques as a guarantee.

But on Wednesday, KESC restored power to Steel Mills after finally getting assurance of payment through the post-dated cheques. Still, the KESC spokesman said, “Even if one cheque in the ones handed to the KESC on Tuesday isn’t cleared by the bank, the power utility will have no option but to disconnect their supply again.”

KESC, FIA to set up anti-electricity task force

The KESC will be joining hands with the Federal Investigation Agency to establish an Anti-Electricity Task Force in order to tackle power theft in the city.

According to a KESC press release, a meeting held with the FIA at the power utility’s headquarters on Tuesday discussed ways of stopping power theft and taking strict action against lawbreakers in this regard.

“It was decided during the meeting that KESC’s regional teams and the FIA will take joint action against the wrongdoers. Information about power theft would be given at KESC’s 118 number as well as the FIA helpline. The KESC also planned to prepare a list of power thieves to provide to the FIA to take action against them. Therefore the power utility encouraged residents and good citizens of Karachi to also inform them of such culprits,” the press release read.

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