Nepra to hold public hearing of load-shedding complaints against KE on July 10

07 Jul 2020

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The hearing will be held via video link and can be attended by stakeholders and general public. — APP/File
The hearing will be held via video link and can be attended by stakeholders and general public. — APP/File

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) will hold a public hearing of complaints regarding excessive electricity load-shedding by K-Electric, the regulatory body said in a press release.

The hearing will be held on July 10 via video link on Zoom "due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation", the statement, dated July 6, said.

"All interested stakeholders and general public may participate in the [public] hearing to share their views/comments regarding load-shedding position in Karachi," the statement read.

In a public advertisement in newspapers, Nepra said that those who wished to attend the hearing may send an email to the Registrar office (registrar@nepra.org.pk) in order to get the video link ID and password.

Last month, Nepra had taken notice of complaints regarding continuing unannounced load-shedding in Karachi and directed the power utility to submit a detailed report in this regard.

The body had also noted that inflated electricity bills were being charged to consumers.

"Strict directions have been given to K-Electric to take remedial measures and submit a detailed report to Nepra immediately," Nepra said.

It added that consumers who were receiving exorbitant bills could file complaints with Nepra's regional office in Karachi or through their website, by providing the relevant documents.

Unannounced power outages, exorbitant bills

In recent weeks, citizens living in the metropolis have complained about excessive billing and unannounced power outages that have added to the misery of soaring temperatures and the coronavirus outbreak.

Last month, many residents took to the streets to protest the power outages, blocking main roads and highways to bring the issue to the attention of the relevant authorities.

Protesters said that power outages were also triggering a water crisis, adding to the burden on the common man.

For its part, KE attributed the power outages to fuel shortage in the country.

"Over 70 per cent of Karachi, including industrial zones, is exempted from [load-shedding]. The ongoing fuel shortage is, however, leading to generation constraints. This has had an impact on K-Electric’s ability to meet the rising electricity demand on account of high temperatures," the power utility had said in a statement earlier.

It added that KE was in contact with the relevant authorities in order to swiftly resolve the issue. "We are hopeful that the situation will improve soon as authorities have taken notice and are exploring the import of furnace oil in order to regularise fuel supplies."