Abid asks Hesco not to spare depts in drive against defaulters

Published September 3, 2015
FEDERAL Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali presides over a meeting of Hesco officers at the power utility’s office in Hyderabad on Wednesday.—APP
FEDERAL Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali presides over a meeting of Hesco officers at the power utility’s office in Hyderabad on Wednesday.—APP

HYDERABAD: Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali has directed Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) to cut off power connections of the Sindh government departments if they fail to pay bills.

If consumers did not clear dues within seven days, their power connections be cut off and not restored till 100 per cent recovery was made, said the minister while speaking to Hesco officers during a visit to Hesco offices here on Wednesday.

He urged them to attain the target of 100 per cent recovery of dues with the help of Rangers, eliminate power theft, control line losses and complete mobile meter reading within a month.

He said that women would be appointed as meter readers to improve meter reading and mobile meter reading process would be completed within a month.

He urged the officers to ensure recovery from government and private consumers and said the Hesco’s performance had improved but still there was more room for improvement.

Officers would be awarded for good performance and those who displayed bad performance would be transferred to other companies, he said.

He praised the Hesco Mirpurkhas operation circle superintending engineer Abdul Haq Memon and said he would visit again after a month. Under the memorandum of understanding, all circle superintending engineers would be responsible for performance, he said.

He asked them to pay visits to the houses of all defaulters and launch an awareness drive to sensitise people to getting legal connections. It would bring a significant reduction in line losses and curb power theft, he said, adding it was on top of his priorities to attain 100 per cent recovery and crack down on electricity thieves.

He advised all officers and officials of the power utility to work hard and discharge their duties in an honest and efficient manner to improve Hesco’s system. On the directives of prime minister, subsidy had been given to the poor consumers, which was praiseworthy step, he said.

The federal government was taking measures to help the poor so that their issues could be resolved as soon as possible.

Hesco Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Saleem Jat told the minister that Hesco recovery teams were conducting a massive crackdown against power thieves and line losses. Action against power theft continued without any discrimination, he said.

He said that he was striving to meet the 100 per cent recovery target and informed the minister that the government and private consumers owed Rs60.656 billion to Hesco, which included Rs2.05 billion owed by federal institutions, Rs32.35 billion dues of provincial departments and Rs26.24 billion of private consumers.

Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) managing director Umar Rasool who also accompanied the minister said after visiting all units of Hesco that Hesco was a commercial institution.

Its meter reading unit and customer services centres should be improved so that consumers’ complaints could be resolved immediately and they should be facilitated in a better manner, he said.

Pepco MD’s team including general manager of human resources, GM of monitoring and surveillance, GM of recovery and commercial, CEO of power information technology and technical commercial also accompanied the minister during the visit.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2015

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