Power companies accused of helping industry at cost of common man

24 Jun 2015


Pepco asks chief executives to explain conduct or face disciplinary action. —File
Pepco asks chief executives to explain conduct or face disciplinary action. —File

LAHORE: Accusing the power distribution companies of acting in “connivance with the industry” by carrying out unprecedented loadshedding at the cost of the common man and “causing embarrassment to the government” on the first of Ramazan, the Pakistan Electric Power Company issued show-cause notices to the chief executives of the companies on Monday.

Pepco asked the chief executives to explain their position within seven days or face disciplinary action.

A letter sent to the chief executives reads: “It was decided that the industry would be kept completely off from 6.30pm to 4am to avoid loadshedding during Iftar, Taraveeh and Sehri. But it has been observed that your companies were still supplying power to the industry during these hours.

Pepco asks chief executives to explain conduct or face disciplinary action

“The poor monitoring and connivance of your staff with the industry resulted in forced and unscheduled loadshedding to create inconvenience to the consumers and embarrassment to the government.

“You are hereby called upon to explain your position within seven days of receipt of this notice, otherwise disciplinary action will be initiated against you under Wapda E&D rules.”

Chief Executive of the Lahore Electric Supply Company Qaiser Zaman has been asked to explain why his company was supplying 110MW to the industry during these hours; Zahoor Ahmad of the Gujranwala Electric Company has been told to explain why his company is providing 442MW to the industry; Rasheed Ahmad of the Faisalabad Electric Company is accused of supplying 64MW; Mohammad Yousaf of the Islamabad Electric Supply Company has been told to explain supply of 114MW; Muzaffar Ali Abbassi of the Multan Electric Supply Company has been asked to explain supply of 88MW; and Mohammad Saleem Jat of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company was found providing 39MW to the industry.

“Around 857MW, which could have otherwise taken care of the domestic demand during most crucial times, was still being supplied to the industry against clear instructions from the ministry to the contrary,” says a former head of Pepco.

“As suggested in the explanation letter, it is a clear case of corruption and connivance at the lower level of these companies and poor management on the top. One can rest assured that some junior staff would be held responsible and penalised and the top-level management would go scot-free. In fact, the problem is at both levels; the top management is least interested because most of the chief executives are working on an ad-hoc basis. They cannot, even if they want to, establish their writ because they are not sure of their own lifespan on the seat. In this administrative vacuum, the lower staff are minting money, at the cost of the common man and, in this case, the government as well,” he added.

Another letter from Pepco has reiterated earlier instructions; all independent industrial feeders will remain off during these hours, all industry on mixed feeders will remain off and all tubewells would also be switched off.

“The CEO will physically remain available along with the Director Operations for a video conference and will be held personally responsible for implementing these instructions strictly, in letter and spirit,” warns the letter.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2015

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