Electricity woes: Is this KESC versus SSGC or Karachi versus Lahore?

Published: May 28, 2013

As Saddar faces power cuts, some shopkeepers have to use small generators to light their shops at night. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

We all expected it. We all knew that with the election of the Punjab government, Karachi would have to pay the price – like it always has.

I don’t plan on venting my frustration out on Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC), because honestly speaking, they have done a marvelous job, from not only reducing the electricity crisis tremendously if not eradicating it, to removing illegal hooks and providing free electricity to several hospitals and school in the city.

KESC actually convinced everyone to follow an energy conservation program by running their air conditioners at 26 degrees and switching off appliances and not keeping them on standby. As I sweated throughout the weekend, not knowing when the power would go out again, a few thoughts floated to my mind.

Firstly, I want to convey that the problem does not lie with KESC.

As the summer heat rages, protests against KESC – violent protests in which their buildings and people are targeted – are inevitable. Although I don’t blame people for their very valid anger and frustration, all I want is for them to be objective or rather realistic.

Karachiites, you must understand where the problem lies; the loadshedding you are facing at the moment is due to the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), not KESC.

So, the situation is something like this. KESC has given SSGC Rs42billion and purchased gas worth Rs41 billion. According to the court’s ruling, KESC should be getting 276mm CFD of gas. However, it only receives 120mm CFD of gas – less than half of what it is due. The largest city of Pakistan, sustaining an already crumbling economy, gets less than 50% of what it’s supposed to get!

You can easily guess where the rest is going!

KESC is filing a contempt of court case against SSGC, but then that’s all they can do. A private organisation cannot fight against the courts, gas companies as well as those in power. The drastic reduction in gas supply has forced KESC to create an artificial system of increased loadshedding. The fight between KESC and SSGC may be long but at the end it’s the people of Karachi who lose, like they have on many other fronts.

It has been said that KESC and SSGC officials exchanged hot words over the issue of payment, but the governor intervened.

Now, “KESC officials have assured that industrial areas would be exempted from load-shedding. This means power supply will be back to normal.”

Government issues aside, the reaction of people on the social media left me stunned. I understand the painful loadshedding in Lahore, especially in this heat, and I can empathise with the people because I’ve gone through it myself.

However, I never celebrate or revel in the misery of those suffering in Lahore.


Before KESC was privatised, life was hell and even a few years after its privatisation it wasn’t any better. Only since the past two years has the situation come under control – well somewhat under control. If people in other places want to compete their crisis to that of Karachi’s, they must remember that Karachi was dark when the entire country shone bright.

One of the directors at SSGC along with many civilians now feel that Karachi and Lahore are equal.

Seriously, those advocating equality by sharing loadshedding as a measure of comparison forget the tumultous life people of Karachi are living here. Nearly a dozen people are killed everyday for absolutely no reason at all, the growing influence of
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the ever increasing no-go areas in Karachi, the political and sectarian violence have reached record level. Life is already hell for those living in Karachi.

Such problems are only heard of and not experienced by those happy about the loadshedding in Karachi; they do not realise that such living circumstances are much darker than darkness left by power outages.

Just because one area is suffering from a particular crisis that doesn’t mean another city should be burdened with a problem it was trying to solve. I was really disappointed by people’s comments. Let alone struggling to compete with other countries, we are now unnecessarily competing within ourselves, and celebrating a loss which will inadvertently affect the entire country?

Power and energy crisis should take precedence over all other prevalent issues in the country. Surely, this crisis cannot be solved by diverting gas unfairly, illegally and maliciously from other cities. The government must take required action.

That said, KESC has improved tremendously. When we saw the railway go to the dogs, the airlines losing its marbles and security becoming a joke, the only relief we had was power for most of the day, if not throughout.

All we can do as citizens is to upgrade our backup systems and not burn our own streets and attack KESC workers, because that’s just going to make our situation worse.

Let’s pray for a united Pakistan; let’s pray for a brighter Pakistan.

Will the power crisis be resolved during the PML-N government's reign?

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Read more by Maheen here or follow her on Twitter @MaheenIshaikh

Maheen Sheikh

Maheen Sheikh

Currently studying law at SOAS, University of London and aspiring to become an advocate. Maheen loves reading, writing and yoga. She participates in charity work on the weekends and tweets @MaheenIshaikh (twitter.com/MaheenIshaikh).

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Mohammad Fahad

    It’s sick the way a feud between KESC & SSGC was used by a lot of people to attack and vilify Punjab.All rationality and logic were thrown out the door,only the mentality of blaming punjab for everything prevailed.
    When the tragic reality is that inspite of having the lowest rate of theft/default as compared to the other provinces,Punjab has been made to suffer the most load shedding.Karachi has a high rate of theft/default but still gets no load shedding at all in half the city.Whereas people in Punjab having lowest theft/default are made to suffer 20 hours load shedding daily.Recommend

  • Tahira Farooq

    First,cut off Punjab’s electricity and gas supply for five years,then blame punjab when light goes in karachi for 6 hours for 2 days.Is Karachi separate from the rest of Pakistan? Has it become a separate entity? Why is there no load shedding at all in 50% of Karachi and 20 hour load shedding in Lahore? Why is Punjab being so viciously persecuted and discriminated against?Recommend

  • http://www.baahirezaman.wordpress.com Ali Rahman

    Maheen… as a consumer… I really appreciate your piece. We as people need to be calm and analyze the situation. We cant be thankful enough for the Electricity situation in Karachi. I remember the first drop of rain and the power going off indefinitely. I remember that haphazard, unannounced load shedding all over Karachi for long hours at a stretch without any logic or reasoning.

    What really disturbs me more is when educated people get on social media and start bad-mouthing without knowing facts. Some go really far and it seems as if they are paid to do that. I always try and raise my voice because I, as a consumer, just like you appreciate how far we have come and I support KESC for how they have handled the situation with consistent amelioration. As public, we have learned, specially through social media, that we can make our voices be heard. Hence, it becomes our responsibility to raise it in a well-informed and educated manner and exert pressure at the right quarters.

    Once again, thank you for writing this piece.Recommend

  • Junaid Malik

    First cut of power to rest of Pakistan,then cry we’re being discriminated against.People of Karachi need to start thinking of all of Pakistan.Rest of Pakistan is suffering while people in most of Karachi are getting no load shedding.KESC is getting billions of rupees in subsidy from the tax payer’s of all of pakistan including punjab.The people of Punjab,KPK,Balochistan are subsidising KESC so the people of Karachi can have no load shedding.
    When will this atrocity against the rest of Pakistan end?Recommend

  • Abdullah

    Punjab has been suffering horrific load shedding for 5 years,Karachi suffers Six hours load shedding for a day and the entire media erupts in rage.Are the people in Punjab not human,doesn’t their continuing plight not deserve any media attention?Recommend

  • Asjad

    On the face of it Governer Sindh has made an intervention and solved the issues, but how long will the Punjab Government allow the man to stay is anybody’s guess.Recommend

  • Asad

    People in Karach have special status.They must never be deprived of electricity at all.While the rest of Pakistan is treated as non-human,not worthy of getting any electricity.No load shedding in Karachi while 20 hours load shedding in Punjab.Recommend

  • Junaid

    What a shoddy analysis (if at all it can be termed as analysis). There was no mention of 35% plus line losses/theft under KESC jurisdiction and the piling payable of KESC by the writer.
    By the way the line losses in LESCO, FESO, GESCO and IESCO are around 10% agaisnt 35% of KESC and still you people praise KESC.

  • http://www.baahirezaman.wordpress.com Ali Rahman

    To all the non-Karachiites commenting: It is not the people of Karachi but Karachi, the city itself. It is a norm for any country around the world to prioritize and focus on infrastructure, etc., of the city which is the economic hub and contributes more than half of Pakistan’s revenue. Having said that, indeed, what has been happening in Punjab is inhuman and I have personally witnessed many people from Karachi raising their voice over it. Please speak with logic. Recommend

  • http://www.baahirezaman.wordpress.com Ali Rahman

    @Junaid… A consumer can reflect upon personal experience and does not have to get into “analysis” as for your comparison of KESC with all the other COs…. Lets not even go there. Ask the residents in those areas and they will reflect on the performance. Piling payables of KESC… pls do share data if you have it… As far as my knowledge is concerned, the fuel bill stands cleared, actually overpaid as of date for the last 18 months. The overdues are of previous years which are a direct result of circular debt issue.Recommend

  • mohammed ali jawaid

    For God sake don’t try to make parallels in Karachi or Lahore it is this frame of mind that creates hatred and our enemies get benefited. present crisis arose because kesc failed to pay cost of gas they get from ssgc.. when ssgc threatened to the cut the gas supply to zero they started using local muscles. the supply cut was given to more willing customer, the sngpl, which is a step in the right direction, any business venture will tend to do. moreover, despite being a privately owned company kesc is getting a fixed 650mw from national grid meaning out of others share! whereas they were contractually obligated to produce their own energy to meet the required demand which they didn’t.not a single unit was produced by them after privatization. they are running their plants (most of them) on gas and are charging its consumer @ furnace oil basis. they could not control kunda mafia, so on and so forth. all what I mean is that there are weaknesses on the part of kesc that must not be twisted around and the authorities responsible must handle them seriously and professionally rather than flaring up the wrong sentiments Recommend

  • Umar

    @Tahira Farooq: Punjab is not being persecuted by the people of karachi, the only reason you dont have power is because your power is controlled by an incompetent government agency whereas power in karachi is controlled by a brilliant private company.

    I understand your frustrations, and to be honest i have felt very similar wrath of load shedding in hyderabad too which is right next door to karachi.

    Stop pointing fingers at people, start pointing them at the administration and question them for the problems you are facing.Recommend

  • salman

    KESC generates the most revenue for WAPDA itself so wapda cannot cut down Karachi’s quota. Punjab has been violating KP, Baluchistan share for the last 25 years. Now there is no electricity left, even for the theft. Where as people of Karachi won’t let their share been snatched by Punjab hence you will see a quick uproar whenever there is some thing fishy. Punjab leaders, Sharif brothers failed to bid for KalaBagh dam all these years now they have nothing to offer to the people other than unwanted luxuries metro buses.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Hey that’s a screenshot of their tweet to me! Wooh. Recommend

  • Maryam

    Dear Author,

    Please stop creating provincial divide. Please, its a request .Recommend

  • chugtai Rizwan

    Welcome to the Roshan PakistanRecommend

  • Citizen

    Shireen Mazari already seem to be going Imran Khan way in terms of her anti Karachi credentials. Her tweet being quoted extensively in Karachi says “why is there no load shedding in Karachi”. When I stand in long lines and pay my bill in full, of course, I dont expect any load shedding.Recommend

  • sabeen khan

    30% theft and bill defaults in Karachi,yet they get no load shedding.12% theft/defaults in Punjab,yet Punjab gets 20 hours load shedding.
    Blatant and horrific racism against PunjabRecommend

  • ASQ

    yeah pay subsidy cost from tax payers money from every pakistani and provide uninterrupted supply to karachi only!!!!!Recommend

  • http://www.offline.com GrimmJow

    Chill out guys! Centuries ago – mankind survived without electricity. TIme to go back to stone-age when apple & blackberries were just fruits & things were much more simpler! :PRecommend

  • Sensible

    and water shortage too…If you want to steal our electricity, give us some of your water. let’s not forget that Karachi is the financial hub and generates 70% of the revenue, out of which 60% goes to Punjab and and mostly spend on Lahore. So it is not fair by any means to take our electricity. I think the mercantile class should start paying taxes in lhr rather than surviving on khi’s revenues. Recommend

  • Imran

    A mess of pathetic desperation & arrogance. Now you know how it feels like under burning sun with no electricity. Some people actually have a tendency to loose their minds to this high temperature. Looks like the case with author.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    Um… she isn’t creating provincial divide. She is responding to it.

    The first few comments of the bias that clearly exists. Please don’t take our electricity. We have enough problems as it is.

    Karachi is the most important city economically to Pakistan. It needs electricity to continue to be a financial flagship for Pakistan. Let us have our fair share. Try privatizing your own power company. Recommend

  • http://www.adeeljanjua.com Adeel Janjua

    After reading this post all I would like to say is ‘Thank You’. Wonderfully put.

    I totally agree with your conclusion, “All we can do as citizens is to upgrade our backup systems and not burn our own streets and attack KESC workers, because that’s just going to make our situation worse”.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Junaid Malik: I am first a Pakistani then a Karachiite but dont deny facts. Come on bro, we karachiites are generating most of the revenues/tax collection which is distributed on development all over pakistan. Its not the other way round!Recommend

  • Tooba Shams

    @Noman Ansari

    Unbelievable.you get no load shedding inspite of having 30% theft/default,then cut off gas/electricity supply to Punjab for Five years and now are playing the victim.
    FYI Karachi isn’t the only city in Pakistan,it’s people are just as important as people in the rest of Pakistan.This mentality of i’m better than the people in other provinces is deeply racist and reeks of bigotry.
    You’re getting 650MW extra,illegal electricity from the national grid which the previous federal government granted to KESC in the middle of the night in 2010.
    First,stop the kundas and bill defaults,then demand more electricity.Recommend

  • Asif Khattak

    End Kunda culture in Karachi.30% of Karachi doesn’t pay their bills or uses kunda yet the rest of Pakistan suffers from 20 hours of load shedding daily.
    Why special treatment for the Kunda theives in Karachi? Why doesn’t KESC take strict action against theives and defaulters in Karachi instead of taking away 650MW from the national grid and causing massive load shedding in the rest of Pakistan?Recommend

  • Another Engineer

    Ever heard of an apple to apple comparison aunty?Recommend

  • THE

    I am a PTI supporter but really surprised by the crass comment by Shareen Mazari on twitter. She has lost all sense when it comes to her comments.
    It’s amazing how the people from Lahore put senseless comments on this blog. KESC should get the gas that’s produced in Sindh before that gas is given to anyone else. Karachi already has alot of problems while it generates 65-70% of the revenue for the economy. If you cut off electricity from your economic hub then there would be nothing but unemployement and disaster to follow.
    Why should Karachi share loadshedding with Punjab? Does Punjab share the target killing, strikes and other chaos with Karachi? Recommend

  • Sarah

    @Tahira Farooq, ALL other provinces feel discriminated against by Punjab. Pakistan is a country where everyone expect Punjabis are a minority and this PML N government and commentators like you will perpetuate this.

    About Karachi, KESC privatisation was a painful process. When the rest of the country was burning bright Karachi was in darkness. So like Karachi, Lahore’s problems should be solved independently not by making Karachi suffer. Also can you tell me how much energy Punjab produces? Most engery is produced by Sindh so it has the first right. Punjab must stop trying to deprive its brothers of their rightful share to prevent ethnic strife. Recommend

  • Waqas Ahmad

    Target Killing and Load Shedding has no comparison. ET please avoid posting such useless blogs which only creates hatred among Punjab and Karachi. Recommend

  • pak

    @Ali Rahman:
    prioritize huh?!… well then Islamabad is the nation’s capital, it should have minimum load-shedding… and guess what… it has more load-shedding than Karachi… so much for the logicRecommend

  • Hafsa Malik

    All of you seem to be creating provincial divide; including the author herself. All I saw in the article and the comments that followed was people of Karachi vs. people of Punjab. We are all Pakistani. The whole of Pakistan is facing problems; different ones in different areas. I’m sorry but I think that newspapers should think twice before printing such material that would just antagonise people. I found the article in no way condemning provincialism. Pakistan needs all of us. Recommend

  • MAK

    It is only in the last couple of years that load shedding in khi has been controlled , has happened according to a schedule and yes, it has been less than in lahore.

    Having said that ,I remember growing up in khi. A time where generators were unheard off, or were certainly a luxury beyond our means and UPS, units which had yet not arrived on the local circuit. I remember power outages through the night, unscheduled loadsheddings for hours on end, I remember studying for exams in the glare of portable lights and often in candle light as well.I remember landing in khi (while my dad worked in the gilflike so many of our parents did at that time) and coming home to a house in darkness, where my uncles and aunts would be up fanning themselves with newspapers and such.
    I speak about a large stretch of time from the80’s to the new millennium ,where it was considered normal to have loadsheddings ( a word certainly not coined at that time ). I don’t remember complaining and I don’t remember comparing itto Punjab or any other province. It seems to be a cross we have borne with grace and dignity and keeping in mind that for us it was a norm and I don’t remember ever having the feeling of being singled out. Maybe I didn’t know better.

    Comparing the 2 cities creates an insurmountable divide. Unfortunately the media plays a great role in doing just that.Recommend

  • Seema

    @Tahira Farooq: Bcoz Punjab govt diverted all your electricity to pacify industrialists instead of providing to common ppl … Recommend

  • aaaaa


    but you (read karachi) dont pay your bills. the top 2 recovery-wise cities in the country are gujranwala (100%) and faisalabad (99%). Karachi doesnt even figure in the top 5.Recommend

  • salman

    It is not true to blame Karachi for load shadding in rest of the Pakistan. Sindh is producing and supplying gas to punjab. Punjab has already drain out resources of Balouchistan. Karachi is generating 70% revenue for Pakistan and on the other hand it gets no funds from federal government. only musharraf has provided development schemes for karachi and MQM has executed them. so please stop blaming karachi and starts to respects its citizens Recommend

  • pak

    This is what I got from the article… ‘so many people are killed daily in Karachi due to sectarian and political mafia related violence… so there should be no load-shedding in Karachi’… the idea is utterly ridiculous and the two problems are completely unrelated.
    Also, most people are talking about electricity like it’s a living person who has run away from Karachi and arrived at Lahore… Punjab’s load-shedding duration has been increasing steadily through the seasons… so if you are demanding that we should “give back your electricity” to you, sorry… we don’t have it.Recommend

  • saba

    @Mohammad Fahad:
    ga punjabi racist :P Recommend

  • Anil khan

    People in Punjab don’t get electricity for most of the day. yet people in Karachi think they should get uninterrupted power at the expense of rest of Pakistan? Electricity is subsidized and Karachi has a large percentage of power theft. Most of the economic activity in Karachi is due to the demand for goods in rest of Pakistan. A port itself is meaningless unless goods flow through it. Share in the good things and also the bad. that is what being a country is.Recommend

  • Maaz

    @Ali Rahman:
    What is logic? The logic is that there are areas in Karachi with NO LOADSHEDDING AT ALL whereas there isn’t any in Punjab, KPK, Balochistan with 24 hours power availability?

    The logic is that KESC has 35% Line Losses aka corruption as compared to 10-25% in Punjab?

    The logic is that just behind New Town Police Station, Karachi, you can get a ‘Kunda’ in monthly 500 per month and there isn’t one single damn spot like this in Rawalpindi?

    The logic is that you guys are giving it an ethnic color by relating KESC to Karachiites emotions, same as MQM does?

    The logic is that Karachi is central hub but you minus it from Pakistan, it will be eaten up by India?

    The logic is that Karachi is the central hub with enough wheat to feed it’s natives whereas Punjab, KPK, Balochistan is nothing at all, without any importance???

    What is your logic? Do you even know what logic means? Ethnic hatred, for sure isn’t logic at all… Pity you guys. MQM rocks, they treat you very well.Recommend

  • Anil khan

    just because the revenue is “generated” in karachi. doesnt mean, karachi is generating the revenue. a port city by itself is nothing, unless goods flow through it. most of the corporate head quarters are in karachi, which factories and revenue generating activities else where. a country is a team. just because karachi scores all the goals doesnt mean it is a one man team. there is a whole mid field supporting it from all the provinces.Recommend

  • Karachi

    Karachi/Sindh should pass the bill Similar to NWFP, which says that gas resources of the province will not be shared with others until NWFP requirement are met.Recommend

  • Aamer Riaz

    I can’t believe some of the rubbish I have read in this article. Fine, Karachiites deserve to get electricity if they pay for it, but who raised their voice when Punjab especially Faislabad was subjected to the worst loadshedding ever during the last 5 years. I think now some folks in Karachi are beginning to understand what Punjabis felt like for 5 long years.

    Have some patience, PMLN has not even formally started its term as a government, and some guys are already flogging Punjab for their power crisis.

    Target killing has aboslutely nothing to do with how much a people deserve electricity or not, we all deserve it equally as long as we pay our bills. What a remarkably retarded tweet by ‘Karachi Khatmal’, you’ve made my day! :PRecommend

  • Bari

    Punjab is Pakistan. If you are Punjabi you have the right on Pakistan others go and find some other place. They have more love for their neighbouring kaafirs then the muslims living outside punjab.

    Geo Punjab Recommend

  • Maaz

    Bara maza aai ga iss bill se :DRecommend

  • Abdullah Haroon

    Karachi generates the revenues that support Pakistan. We are indirectly subsidizing Punjab through our revenues. It is these migrants from outside Sindh who are contributing to the law and order situation in Karachi. The biggest stealers of electricity are the migrants. Punjabis with their culture corruption are responsible for their own problems and most of the problems of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Saad riaz

    Super like for writing this blog … Ppl commenting here are trying to say ” hum to doobain hain sanam…. Saath tumhe bhi le doobainge”Recommend

  • Pakistani

    1st of all every instead of saying geo Punjab or Sindhi try to say Geo Pakistan.
    Till The day we are not united, will b get ripped. Have u ever heard of violent strike or protest in any developed country. This makes us not developed & civilised.
    And people who differentiate Karachi & Lahore on basis of default & theft issues they should look at stats of government revenue. I hope you guys know government revenue means I’m talking about TAX.
    Sindhi (specially KARACHI) is most revenue generating part of PAKISTAN despite of fact that Punjab has more industries. Even you can say small type of industry in almost every house.
    Then WHY there not tax recovery from Punjab?

    First analyse and then Debate

    Geo PAKISTANRecommend

  • Pakistani

    @ Bari

    How much simple is for you guys to call anyone Kafir

    If they are kafir why you people try to b like them
    You need luxury cars made by them
    Want to go foreign & study but call them wrong.

    So please don’t give useless comments if u don’t have anything productive to talk.
    It will be really appreciableRecommend

  • Faizan

    Well I live in Karachi, and I suffer 9 hours of loadshedding after paying my bills. Thanks to KESC.Recommend

  • AY

    Maheen, the facts are not making any compariable situation Karachi/Sindh Vs. Punjab since just 6 hrs loadshedding in a day & 1 day CNG cut once a week in Karachi.
    So where is the better situation, u decide.Recommend

  • Salman

    Too all those people stating there are areas in karachi which face no load shedding at all, find me such areas and I’ll name all my property after you. I mean seriously? Do you live in karachi? Do you know what it feels like to have someone you love kill right in front of your eyes? I strongly support this article, if people of lahore wants equality, then please, share our target killing, terrorism and law and order situation as well. The basic point of your arguments are non sense. Stop being jealous of karachi, I know it’s hard for Lahori’s to digust this, as Quaid-e-Azam himself choose karachi as the capital but please, jealousy isn’t going to help you out. United Pakistan is what we need, not this enemity between provinces.

    P.S: It’s not our fault that your government gave you a metro bus instead of power. Recommend

  • Deep

    Guys why don’t Pakistan import power frm Indian state of Gujarat which alone is producng 25000 megawatt power nd very much power surplus, it can immediately solve ur problem i think South Asian kntries shud connect its grids so tat kntries can share its excess power with power deficit regions.Recommend

  • http://muhibullah.wordpress.com/ Muhibullah

    There’s no truth to the idea that there is no load shedding in Karachi (or there wasn’t any till a few days ago), most areas of the city had some load shedding. PML(N) politicians are going to administer the whole of Pakistan, not just Punjab, they should have avoided saying things that provoke Lahore against Karachi or induce paranoia in the people of Karachi regarding the intentions of the coming regime. I don’t expect MQM to engage in anything other than race baiting but it is really saddening to see utter lack of magnanimity in PML (N) despite their huge victory. Recommend

  • kanwal

    This is exactly what this corrupt mafia of politicians, beurocrats and generals wants: we fight each other and forget about them. All the provinces have enough resources to overcome this crisis. But if we got some respite, we ll start asking far more questions from them than they would like. So yeah, lets fight among each other. Recommend

  • kanwal

    If the case of loadshedding in karachi is same as the author suggests, karacchiites have every right to ask the rest of pakistan to mind their own own businesss. Afterall, thry have paid for the electricity. They should ask thauthorities in their own area why have they not worked hard like that? Karachi did suffer horribly when i was there and my friends elsewhere in pakistan enjoying life as usual. Pls stop this discrimination. We worked hard for it. You should too. Recommend

  • Adeel

    @Mohammad Fahad: You need to understand the fact that Karachi is making its own electricity while Lahore is not doing that, thanks to the 1 who people voted again.Recommend

  • Baffled

    Right now I am having an one hour scheduled load shedding in Karachi which a few days back abruptly increased to two hours .The Governor intervened and it worked .People of Karachi should be thankful to MQM for this .

    But still some of the comments above supporting Karachi’s “right” is simply absurd !!!!!.
    I have spent a couple of months in Lahore the last summer in one of the posh areas .
    They coped with generators and UPS , no problem .

    Had the chance to visit Ichra and Baghbanpura . It was just inhumane witnessing toddlers and babies yelling and crying during load shedding and the mothers were trying in vain to appease them .

    Maybe we could have grudge against Punjab , but people of Karachi do need to have a heart to share what little resource we have .

    I can still hear the innocent wailing of the little ones and I am ready to share my ” share ” with them in Punjab .Recommend

  • Zulm

    I heard you are saying about upgrading of backup power.
    Do you feel that everyone can afford backup power.
    All these games are the bitter fruits of Beaurucracy. And everyone knows the constituency of Beaurucracy. Yes, Punjabis.

  • http://muhibullah.wordpress.com/ Muhibullah

    I would like to add that KESC is a private company in the business of making money. The way they make money is by selling electricity to the people of Karachi and charging them through the nose for it. The people of Punjab get their electricity at subsidized rates from a government department. If you think privatizing power generation is such a great model, go ahead and implement it in Lahore as well.Recommend

  • Sensible

    @Anil Khan..I am talking about the tax collection. Please tell this to punjab that we are a team, which always acts like a bully and i have always noticed Lahoris competing with khi and their resentment towards karachiites which i fail to understand.

    Well let me tell you something, khi can very well survive on its own if it becomes a free port.. i am not too sure about punjab though. So while we are a team, khi plays the major role generating 70% revenue. Without khi pak will barely survive, i cant say abt lahore or for that matter the entire punjab. So let give it where its due if we are a team.Recommend

  • H

    Provincial divide already exists, one blog wont make a difference. And if KESC is receiving half of the gas it is paying for, then obviously things aren’t going very fairly for the city who is contributing the most to Pakistan’s GDP figures. Think a bit logically instead of getting all emo, Punjabis.Recommend

  • farrah


  • T Khan

    @Mohammad Fahad:

    The part which gets electricity in Karachi has the lowest rate of default (i.e. SITE area). Go check figures on KESC website. The law and order situation in Karachi needs to be compared to the other parts of Pakistan as well in this analysis. Just wondering, what are the T&D losses in FATA?!

    I am not a Karachiite.Recommend

  • fus

    wow…people need to get the facts stright. First of people of Punjab go and shout at Shabaz Sharif and PML(N) who is the signatroy to the amdenment that gives first right of use to the province that is producting it. 70-80% of the gas is now produced by Sind, not Baluchistan, where as Punjab is negligible. Sind uses around 35% of it total production only, secondly SSGC had signed agreement to provide certain amount of gas at all times for the KESC to produce electricity. Now whether people in KHI paybill or not is beside the point since that is b/w KESC which is private company and its consumer. But before this SSGC has to provide gas as per agreement and that too from resource produced by Sind not Punjab or any other province. That is why even though people are suffering in other provinces, Punjab or other govt can’t do much about it as far as gas is concerned other than resolving the circular debt. So people of Punjab please get some facts straight before jumping to conclusion. Blame your politicians and leaders. MQM had asked all the provincial govt. to reduce their development funds and pay the IPPs as per the population to pay off circulat debt so that they can make more electricty and cut down the load shedding but since it would have meant less money for their own pockets they did not accept the suggestion. Recommend

  • rehman baba

    I am glad that with all this debate, many people from Karachi are showing their true colors. Quaid e Azam asked us to steer clear off ethnic divide. But all will call these prejudices racism. If you are a port study, we grow wheat that feeds your bulky abusive mouths.Recommend

  • Karachi

    Should Karachi stop sharing it’s revenue as well? Recommend

  • Anam

    taking back 650MW of power from Karachi would add 8 hours of more load shedding to Karachi , only 30 minutes of relief for Punjab. cos Punjab is one big province! For 30 mins of relief, whats the point of 8 hours load shedding in khi?Recommend

  • waqar

    BTW DHA and Clifton are part of Karachi not the city itself even these areas are not exempted from load shedding….We are experiencing 10hrs load shedding on daily basis….
    KESC not only serves Karachi it also serves Hub, Vindor, Bela and Gharo…..650MW is only 10% of National Grid…. and KESC almost produce half of its electricity by its own resources where as LESCO depends on National Grid….Recommend

  • Amin ur Rahman

    This I vs yOu, thing most of those who have commented here is Ridiculous… The simple logic and question is about efficiency. I’ll just state a few questions / statement, as food for thought;

    1) Karachi’s daily electricity demand is 2700MW, of which it ‘Purchases’ 650MW from WAPDA (pls read again, it is not gifted), meaning that the remaining 75% is generated by the city’s own generation co – KESC. How much does Lahore generate as a city?

    2) The 650MW ‘Purchased’ from WAPDA is under a contractual obligation, which is to last til 2015 and was part of the privatization agreement; which the Govt and WAPDA know well abt that they can’t tinker with, else they wouldve taken it back, loooong ago.

    3) WAPDA’s system, comprises of power generation through hydel resouces, which are a National asset – and hydel generation being the cheapest. So Karachi, which generates 65% of the country’s GDP, why shud it not get a fair share or get to benefit for the nation’s ‘National Resources’?? That too given the fact that WAPDA/NTDC’s installed capacity is around 18,000MW, and the 650MW which KESC buys of it is roughly not even 4% of WAPDA’s capacity. So whAt is the hue and cry about???

    4) KESC in the days of state ownership, was making a loss of Rs. 1 Billion/month, which the Fed Govt had to subsidize aka foot the bill for the loss. Hence after privatization, the Govt took a sigh of relief….(Not having to foot the bills / losses of a financially sick co).

    5) KESC’s NO load shedding policy is not a luxury or a discrimination of sorts; infact it is under a promise to its consumers, that areas which have No or Low Loss will have No Load shed. Meaning areas, tbat pay their bills in full, should get full supply; simple economics of business. Areas, which are loss making, should not be given rights over those areas who pay in full. The result of this philosophy has been such, that right now 50% of Karachi has ‘0’ Load Shedding’ merely because those areas have No or low losses. The remaining 50% of Karachi, steals 30% of the total electricity produced by KESC, hence they face load shed from 3 to 9 hours a day (LS depending on the severity of the loss).

    6) The Federal Govt owes Billions of rupees in unpaid bills… Yet expects the private company to stay afloat. The Karachi Water Board is the Biggest defaulter of KESC, owing it over 22 Billion; but KESC does not, can not cut its power supply, else riots break out in the city; that KESC has anti-humanitarian policies, since cutting off power to KWSB wud mean, running the city dry….

    7) Sindh produces 65% of the total gas produced in Pakistan, but is allocated on 30% for consumption; likewise Punjab produces only 25% of gas, whiles consumes the lions share of 60%. So where is the sanity in that….? So let’s not start getting into that I vs you thing….

    And similarily, there are 10 other points that can be mentioned here, but for the sake of risking penning a thesis here, I’ll spare all my dear friends here and those who dared read all of what I said.Recommend

  • Z Khan

    Honestly, if only there was a motorway between KHI and LHE, this writer could have travelled in less than 12 hours between the two cities, witness the miseries and never write such a useless article! God, we need so many motorways in this country!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Saim

    @Junaid Malik:
    Ok first of all who said KHI is not getting load shedding? Khi is also sufferring from loadshedding. yes situation is not as bad as in LHR but u cant blame KHI for that. KESC is responsible for supplying electricity to KHI. KESC is the only remaining vertically integrated power utility in Pakistan that generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It generates either through furnace oil or BUYS from WAPDA and SSGC of which WAPDA’s share is the pretty low. KHi is not getting electricity for free. SSGC’s share is the highest but here too one should remember that currently 42% of the country’s gas is being produced by sindh and not punjab so no one is taking Punjab’s resources. In case of LHR the responsibility electricity generation is of WAPDA. If u wanna blame anyone then blame WAPDA for not providing u electricity and not KHI. And if u guys want equality then plz also share the burden of lacks of ppl who come to karachi annually putting a strain on its economy. Also share the burden of street crimes which are a direct result of the heavy influx of population and if cant do this then u hv no right to say anything to karachi on load shedding.Recommend

  • Sadia

    I think the people of Pakistan should remember that they are not living in city states.Lahore and Karachi are part of the same country. Do we all not have loved ones in both the cities. At least i do. This problem is between two organizations and should be handled on that level. People like the author do everybody a disservice when they start acting like one province is out to get the other one. That’s pathetic. By the way i am not a PML-N supporter by any stretch of the imagination.Recommend

  • Satesh

    @Tahira Farooq:
    This is what Punjab chose!!!Recommend

  • yasmeen khalid

    @Mohammad Fahad: Electricity in Karachi is different. KESC is a private company now. and they worked heard to improve supplying it.people in punjab should see what good steps KESC took.and what did they do to give relieve to people of karachi, instead they r comparing lahore and karachi. Recommend

  • Salman

    Stop being fooled by politicians there is no Sindh Vs Punjab. The Qadirpur field was due for annual shutdown for 7 days for repairs & maintainance. As per normal gas sector practice SSGCL lended 90 mmscfd gas to SNGPL to meet its shortfall. Now the shut down is over and NO Sindh Gas is being given to SNGPL therefore politicians should stop their hatered speeches and stop misleading common man.Recommend

  • Ahmad

    SSGC versus KESC
    Those in power
    Dozen people killed everyday>blame TTP

    Each one’s comments show’s lack of competence in your Sind’s local government n especially city of Karachi. Blaming others for your own mess is not a solution. Local government ruled n ruling from years Karachi, not any other city administration-these question’s needs to be put forward by you to your karachi’s elected representative’s-not other cities. Comments relating TTP-please2 don’t come with such excuses, Karachi target killing has been, is n may continue, until champions of local representatives understand that Karachi is a cosmopolitan city n anyone ethnic community can’t be considered owner of this city. Yes, Karachi is one of the commercial hub (thanks to sea port) but don’t forget there are other cities who come in the same category. Almost 90% plus food, raw material, investment, finished goods/services etc pumped in from other provinces/cities. So relax try to see things in a proper prospect-narrow mindedness n blame game will not solve Karachi city problem.. Hope you people will read these words n feel its spirit.Recommend

  • Sa

    I think this comment will not be published but it is a very irresponsible blog! There is a new trend of doing analysis by picking up 160 character tweets and doing analysis on the basis of those tweets. It is not analysis but subjective commentary on tweets. I believe it is not worth consideration and should not have been posted by ET editors. Recommend

  • KarachiBawy

    There should another option in the POLL.

    “Will get worse” Esp for Karachi.

    I would have voted for that.Recommend

  • Seema

    @Anil khan:Talkng about sharing may I ask What Punjab is sharing with Karachi…. Karachi already sharing its revenue with whole of Pakistan… what Lahore shares?… Punjab’s employees getting better pay than employees of other provinces… check the difference between Punjab’s doctors pay and Sindh’s …. why is this difference? what is so special with Punjabis.. bcoz army judiciary and TTP Recommend

  • Ayesha

    reading all the comments and the article itself… I am just wondering if the Writer is Pakistani or just a Karachite.

    Please think beyoud internal boundaries atleast , this for sure is KESC vs. SSC.
    and i really want to thank the author here for making people choose a side (Karachi or Lahore)

    such irresponsible blog!Recommend

  • Ayesha

    you seriously need to get your facts right..
    I think youRecommend

  • Ayesha


    what karachi is sharing and what punjab is sharing??? I mean seriously…
    we live in country , we are all Pakistanis . WE HAVE TO SHARE.

  • Samuel Peter

    Well done folks!! You all have been successfully befooled by our politicians and bureaucrats. Exactly according to their wish, u r fighting with each other while non one is blaming the people and institutions that are actually responsible for this quagmire. But no issue, u people keep fighting for Karachi and Punjab while they all keep sitting pretty and enjoying ur fight. Keep up the good work!!!Recommend

  • Ayesha

    dear ET , why have you cut my commentsRecommend

  • mc duffy

    a brilliant corrupt govt ruled by a party mainly based in sindh?Recommend

  • mc duffy

    karachi does not genertae 70% of the revenues for pakistan punjab does that. 70% of the exports are from karachi thats the fact go study economics rather then stating wrong facts.Recommend

  • Truth

    Rest of Pakistan is paying fuel adjustment charges on 650 MW of electricity being given to KESC. Currently Government of Pakistan has to pay 200 Billion PKR as pending fuel adjustment charges to IPPs – this amount is just for 6 months. In fact consumers in rest of country is paying fuel adjustment charges for consumers in Karachi.
    As far as gas allocation is concerned, rest of Sindh is being discriminated against as KESC is provided cheaper gas instead of them making electricity using Furnace Oil. And Sindh is being provided electricity from IPPs – they are paying more money on per unit basis.
    KESC has to pay 40 Billion PKR to SSGC and 65 Billion PKR to PSO.
    Federal government is paying 60 Billion PKR per annum to KESC in the name of subsidy.
    Punjab does not want any change in gas allocation to KESC but Federal government need to stop giving 650 MW from the national grid and 60 Billion PKR per annum on the name of subsidy. If Karachi don’t want to pay the bills, let the Sindh government pay from it’s budget.
    Punjab is contributing more than 60% of GDP of Pakistan. I am afraid that if Karachi remains in the mess, it is currently in – the share of Punjab in GDP will grow further. As for tax generation, allow me to tell my friends that almost 70% of business/trade/financial transactions being done in or with Punjab so if HQ of a bank or MNC is in Karachi it does not mean that Karachi is generating that tax revenue, it is merely collecting it on behalf of the federation. We should be mindful to our discussion on the subject otherwise we could see Punjab forcing the banks/MNCs to shift to Lahore or Islamabad.
    Being a Karachite and with a family there from 1940’s – I really wish to see Karachi going wonders and competing against cities like Manila, Bangkok, Mumbai, Dubai but unfortunately we have lost last 20-25 years in petty conflicts.
    Let us stop asking for free lunches.

  • Javed Khan (@JKhaan)

    I’m really disappointed by all this hatred portrayed by the people of Karachi & Lahore here. We should stand united, not pointing fingers at anyone. The author’s article has done nothing but to incite further divide among people of both cities. We should be willing to share with each other in the hour of need, not the other way around. The attitude held towards the party may be justifiable, but it would be appreciated if you don’t stereotype the people associated with the province. I’ve had my share of life spent in both Karachi & Lahore. While Karachi may have electricity, it however is no longer a place safe enough to live in and earn your living without fear of getting shot at. I held the parties mainly responsible for this fiasco, as its the common man who has to endure these atrocities.

    No one is denying Karachi’s role in contributing towards GDP of Pakistan (20% of total Pakistan’s GDP) and 55% approximately revenue (which is mostly generated by customs & sales tax on imports, since its a seaport), do not forget that all other provinces have their own contributions and importance as well. Punjab being the largest producer of wheat & cotton, your textile industry is pretty much operating in Punjab. Imagine how detrimental and disastrous this load shedding is wreaking havoc on this profitable industry, which is responsible for bringing foreign capital and generating exports for the country. Balochistan is rich in natural resources, due to the incompetencies of the government, they’re yet to be utilized.

    What irks me the most is hostility towards the construction of Hydro Power Plants such as Kala Bagh Dam. Water is a matter of life & death for us people. Do you want to see the time when India completely blocks off our water and we’re left with nothing but sand and silt in our riverbanks? You want cheap electricity, demand for construction of Hydro Dams. There’s no other way around it. We need those Dams pronto, if we wish to survive.

    You people voted for these parties to be in power. Held them accountable for crying out loud, not the people who are already suffering.

    Peace out.Recommend

  • karachi

    for the record, last week karachi’s Loadshedding INCREASED, it didn’t START. even khi has loadsheddingRecommend

  • Fahad Javaid

    Lets not bring industry or revenue into this. How can we generate revenue when there is no electricity. Have you seen Faisalabad, our industry is mostly stand-still. Let me tell you about my business, we had to run generator for 140 hours in last seven days; tell me how do you justify that.
    After these frequent blackouts, 7-8 hours of load-shedding seems a blessing in disguise. Recommend

  • Sane

    Karachites!……. You do not have wisdom to whom you must vote. I Be prepared. What stakeholders of the Karachi shall do? Let’s see.Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Mohammad Fahad: there is theft almost all areas of KArachi, but areas (kutchi abadis) where people from Punjab, KPK, and Afghanis are living have greatest ratio of theft. They use unlimited electricity for just 200 or 300 per monthRecommend

  • Jo dekha

    @Tahira Farooq: Please dont be so angry. If you are from central Punjab, then theft should not be new to you. Remember Punjab stealing water from other provinces shares through IRSA, stealing and misapprpriating the share in resources of southern PUnjab ? Recommend

  • Power

    @Junaid Malik:
    @Tahira Farooq:
    @Mohammad Fahad:
    All of us know even Ammi take extra care of “Kamaoo Poot”, therefore Karachi being the Kamaoo Poot of Pakistan has a right to be treated like this.(on a lighter note)

    As far as Pakistan paying for Karachi power concerned is wrong. the fact is other way round, Karachi is contributing 70% of Pakistan revenue.

    Second, its a hard commercial fact. KESC being a private company (not hijacked by excessive work force) is making sure it provides service and in return get the revenue, which at present is going fine.

    Third, electricity theft is greatest in areas where peope from Punjab, KPK, and afghanis are living (Katchi Abadis). After all Karachi is mini Pakistan. I am sure at least one acquaintance of each commentator would be involved in this theft and similarly enjoying the supply of electricity. Thx Recommend

  • unknown

    @Junaid Malik:
    Karachi pays more than 60% tax!!!Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Asjad: we love Govenor SindhRecommend

  • Proud Pakistani

    Well Karachities! MQM treats you so well with the bori band lashain and bhata! you guys so deserve it!!
    Seriously if you guys think that after plunging the rest of the nation into darkness and ripping them off their right, you guys can get away with it!!…
    Thanks to the glorious 5 years, the once blooming industries of Faisalabad have turned into shambles.Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    LESCO, FESCO, DISCO. We have simple KESCRecommend