SCORES of consumers have to bear loadshedding for up to 10 hours at the hands of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) in the so-called high-loss areas. Feeders where power thefts are high are switched off by Lesco to avoid overload on the rest of the distribution system.

This is highly unjustifiable as many honest consumers, who are not involved in power theft and pay their bills regularly, are made to suffer. I know quite a few housing colonies where there is zero power theft, but they remain without power for hours because some other people on their common feeder are stealing the electricity.

Instead of finding and punishing the electric thieves, the Lesco switches off the entire feeder, punishing those who are not at fault. It is apparent that the Lesco staff is highly incompetent and inefficient to apprehend the power thieves who are not only causing loadshedding, but are actually inflicting huge financial loss that is ultimately borne by the government and the honest consumers.

Incompetent and irresponsible engineers and staff who are unable to detect and control power thefts should be shown the door. There are many unemployed engineers and other staff waiting for a job. This is a serious matter and the high-ups in the power sector need to take strong measures to get rid of the twin menace of power thefts and avoidable loadshedding.

Riaz Bhutta
Lahore

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

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