AT the moment this country is faced with the problem of overcapacity in power production! This is a rare phenomena when the available generating capacity exceeds power demand. A sizeable generation capacity thus remains unutilised resulting in a financial loss to the economy in many ways.

It is a pity that despite having surplus power, the management of power distribution companies resort to regular loadshedding in some areas on the plea that the feeders distributing electricity are incurring high losses because of theft.

In some neighbourhoods where the losses are very high, loadshedding is resorted to four times a day for a minimum duration of 30 minutes on each occasion. Allow me to quote only one example, that of the residential colony where I reside.

There is an 11kV feeder passing through our neighbourhood and the people residing there pay their utility bills as a matter of routine. However, they have to bear loadshedding in this scorching heat, because across the road from our locality is a colony where power theft is common and we also have to suffer the consequences.

This brings me to the point: will a few hours of loadshedding deter power thieves for not stealing electricity during the remaining hours? One fails to fathom the reason behind this logic. The practice must be done away with.

Why is it that instead of catching and punishing power thieves, the authorities choose to switch off 11kV feeders across the country, punishing honest consumers who are in a majority instead of stopping power theft.

The authorities need to find a better method to tackle the problem. Above all, it should address on top priority the overcapacity in the power system.

Engr Riaz Bhutta


Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2020