K-ELECTRIC issues updates from time to time related to the loadshedding schedule. and uploads them on its website. The latest plan taking effect from March 13 does not differ from the previous version as far as the duration of loadshedding is concerned, even though the previous plan was meant for winter months, and the current one is for the peak summer months; March-June.

Like its previous version, the current regimen categorises the areas served by the KE into high, medium and low loss zones with the duration of loadshedding varying 2-10 hours, depending on the zone in which an area falls.

However, KE rarely follows its own regimen and behaves like an entity not answerable or accountable. Some of the areas slated for 10-hour loadshedding have, in fact, been experiencing a 14-hour outage since November, including Sundays.

With the weather now turning warm and the fasting month of Ramazan having already begun, the suffering of the residents of the affected areas can well be imagined.

The KE stance is that it has to recover its outstanding dues and its “considerate policy” of loadshedding is in line with the National Power Policy (NPP). Does the NPP authorise the KE, or, for that matter, any other distribution company, to punish its consumers with no distinction between the defaulters and those who pay the bills regularly?

The KE is a commercial organisation and has every right to earn a fair margin of profit on its investments, and, likewise, it is well within its rights to recover the outstanding dues.

Having said that, it should not be done at the cost of those who pay their mothly bills regularly. Do the right thing, KE.

Ahmad Fakir Muhammad
Karachi

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023

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