KARACHI, March 17: The KESC on Monday announced a new policy to enable consumers to obtain a new electricity connection within seven days.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, KESC MD Brig Tariq Saddozai said the KESC has further simplified the process of obtaining new electricity connections. Previously, the process was long, cumbersome, costly and was open to misuse.
“Formerly, a consumer used to be on the waiting list for a long time before he could procure a new electricity connection. Second, the process was riddled with many bureaucratic obstacles. Third, a consumer had to pay quite a lot to procure a connection which becomes a steady source of income for the power utility. Fourth, it was alleged, sometimes rightly so, that a consumer had to offer inducements to KESC officials to expedite the process.”
He said that under the new connection policy, a consumer would be given a connection by the KESC within seven days.
“A consumer would have to submit only three documents — the photocopy of his national identity card, documents showing the possession of his house, and the house map — along with the application form. The KESC has dropped the idea of asking for approved building plans, because they are hard to come by. In case of Kutchi abadis, a consumer would have to submit a certificate signed by the Nazim of his area showing that he owns the house for which he has applied for a power connection. However, the consumer would be obligated not to insist on the possession of his house on the strength of the power connection.”
The KESC managing director explained that the officials of the power utility would survey the site within three days of the submission of the application form. “If they detect no violation of rules, they would issue an estimate — amount required to install the power connection at the consumer’s house — within two days. The connection would be issued within seven days of the submission of the test form.”
Mr Saddozai said that domestic consumers who needed less than 50 kilowatts of electricity would be able to avail themselves of this policy. He added that commercial consumers who needed less than five kilowatts of electricity would obtain a connection under this policy.
He admitted that new power connections were still quite expensive for domestic consumers, who constituted about 75 per cent of the KESC’s total consumers.
“At a meeting of the board of directors on March 29, the KESC is likely to reduce the charges of new power connections. If it does, then an application will be made to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to bring down new connection charges. This is being done to bring KESC charges in line with those of the Water and Power Development Authority.”
Answering a question, the KESC managing director conceded that there was a power shortage of about 400 megawatts which was met by the supply from Wapda.
“The KESC has signed an agreement with Wapda under which the power utility receives 400 megawatts on a daily basis. Similarly, a Hubco-KESC link will also come into operation soon which would enable the power utility to meet the electricity shortage.”
He disagreed with a newsman who said that the KESC should first generate more electricity to meet the power shortage before it gave more connections to consumers.
“You cannot stop people from using electricity by not providing them with new power connections. They resort to power pilferage, thus inflicting upon the KESC a financial loss. Under this policy, they would obtain connections and pay for the electricity they use.”
The KESC managing director said the power utility expected that it would receive more than 2,500 applications for new electricity on a monthly basis. He added that the growth rate of consumers was about five per cent.
Mr Saddozai said there were 5,000 pending applications of new connections. “Previously, a self-finance scheme was in place under which consumers used to purchase the equipment required for new power connections themselves. This contributed to a large number of pending applications of power connections. Now the scheme has been discarded and if applicants do not deposit the amount required for a power connection within 30 days, their application would be rejected.”
The KESC managing director disclosed that the water board and the city district were the biggest defaulters of the power utility. “The water board and the city district government owe Rs466 million and Rs534million to the KESC respectively. Besides, at least Rs1 billion in involved in court cases.”
He said that if a consumer encountered problems in obtaining new power connections, he could lodge his complaint at these telephone numbers: 9211153, 4540915 and 9205151.