KARACHI, Aug 2: The Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation failed to restore power supply to quite a large number of industrial units in the Site and Korangi areas, as well as various residential localities, even after a lapse of four days.
Most city areas went without power on Sunday following rainfall and could not be re-energised for hours. KESC teams had started rectifying the faults and restoring the supply gradually but it could not normalise the situation till Wednesday evening. Enraged power consumers staged demonstrations at seven different places in the metropolis on Tuesday to register their strong protest over the prolonged breakdowns.
Briefing newsmen here on Wednesday, KESC Chief Executive Officer Frank Scherschmidt said that 90 per cent faults had been rectified and only five per cent of the city’s area now remained without power. He put the estimate of the people still affected by the breakdowns at around 800,000, and said work was under way for the restoration of power supply in these areas.
About rain emergency plan implemented by the KESC management four weeks before the rain, he said that trimming of trees, cleansing of isolators and other work was part of the rain emergency plan. However, he evaded the question as to how much extent the plan was successful.
Principal Information Officer Sultan Ahmed, assisting the CEO, said that a communication tower of a mobile phone company fell on the Hasan Quarters feeder in North Nazimabad causing damage to the system and affected power supply to the area connected with the feeder. Besides, he said, some cable faults and malfunctioning in sub-stations were reported in certain areas, including South Park Avenue, Defence Phase-I, V & V-Extension, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Firdous Colony in Liaquatabad, Block G and H in North Nazimabad, and Block 21 in Federal B Area.
He said that 16 sub-stations in Korangi Industrial Area were affected whereas in Site area, cable faults at some places were detected.
He said that the KESC engineers and workers were working to repair the faults round the clock to restore supply at the earliest. About Korangi No.1 and 2, he said that some residential areas were connected with the affected sub-stations of Korangi Industrial Area and as soon as the sub-stations started functioning, the affected residential areas would also be energized.
About the poor response from complaint centres, he said that the KESC had already applied 120 more telephone lines to improve their performance. At present, he said, there were 25 lines attached to the centralized ‘118’ number. “We are imparting training to the staff to be present there to receive complaints and the new system will also have the capability to monitor performance of the individuals attending the calls. This will hopefully be implemented by the end of this month,” he maintained.
People from various areas complained about power failures in their localities on Wednesday. Residents of Block 3 and 15 in Federal B Area said that the power went off in their localities at around 10am for six hours.
A woman consumer from Allah Rakkha Market on Shahrah-i-Iraq said that her locality was without power for the past three days. “I made many calls to KESC complaint centre and managed to contact the personnel in operations who told me that it was an underground fault responsible for the breakdown. When I spoke to the people working on the underground section, they told me that they had already given a green signal,” she added.
She said that she again made a call after a while and she was told that the area was energised. However, she said, power supply was still off and the KESC people continued to claim having restored the supply.
A consumer from Saudia Colony, Malir, said that power supply was discontinued for two hours during the previous night forcing residents of his locality to spend a sleepless night.
Munir Haqqani, a consumer from PECHS Block 6, said that power went off in his locality in the morning and was not restored till late in the night.