Stories about kesc

The government cannot do everything for you

It is a paradox that I have failed to understand: Pakistanis tend to hate their government, think of it as corrupt and incompetent, but at the same time, we feel that the government should do absolutely everything for us. The average Pakistani sees absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of the government setting prices in energy and agriculture. They see nothing wrong with the government blatantly discriminating against some industries by giving others preferential treatment in the tax code and regulatory structure. And most people do not seem to have a problem with the fact that the government owns vast swathes ...

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When there is a blackout, Karachi isn’t completely in the dark

It was nearly midnight last night when we lost power here in phase four of Defence, Karachi, and I could immediately tell that it would be a long blackout. As a citizen of this nation, I am unfortunately quite familiar with such outages, and can often tell the nature of the incident in the way the power goes out. Typically, a loss of power that happens swiftly and on the hour is normally a scheduled piece of load shedding (rolling blackout), though occasionally can also be a half-day long shutdown for neighbourhood maintenance. A loss of power that occurs at ...

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Circle of life

Feelings of being enraged; feelings of wanting to go out on to the streets and protest (not in a revolutionary mood though); feelings of smacking someone right in the middle of their head; feelings of sometimes shouting out loud in a helpless cry, and sometimes in a defeated sombre sigh. These are just some of the feelings, when the letters C, E, S and K are arranged in the order of KESC. I can already sense disgusted frowns appearing on some faces. Those not in Karachi probably have a victorious smirk on, or are thanking the Lord for His graciousness – aren’t you happy ...

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Rain, rain, go away

For nine out of the 12 months that Karachiites experience sweltering heat, accompanied by irregular power outages and frequent loadshedding, we bicker and moan for the skies to ‘shower’ their blessings. In the midst of the gloom resulting from the recent target killings and kidnappings, the pre-rain and short-term post-rain weather were meant to provide some uplift to the city’s beleaguered denizens. However, no sooner did the blessings commence that we wished them gone. Are we the most confused people, or what? On the face of it, the rain is a welcome change; the weather becomes pleasant, people’s moods lighten ...

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Breaking down the KESC strike

The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) has been embroiled in a dispute with pockets of its unionised labour force for a while now. We have witnessed unbelievable scenes involving violent protests at the central office of the KESC, followed by accusations and counter-accusations from both sides. Now, the management of the electric supply company has stated that they were unable to procure additional supplies of furnace oil due to an ‘emergency’ situation, thus jeopardising the supply of electricity to the city. On the other hand, the roundabout near the Governor House has become a campsite, inconveniencing motorists on one of the ...

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City of lights… only during the day

Not once, not twice… but a dozen times I have witnessed the city of Karachi being true to its name. The City of Lights, as it was called, has of late seen more than its fair share of darkness. But wait… there have been instances of the city being alight, trying hard to regain its past glory. It’s quite a pity that that has happened only during the day when it is least needed. At 5 pm at the peak of summer, I was rather upset to see all the street lights near Karsaz and on Sharah-e-Faisal shining merrily as ...

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The day KESC actually responded

At a time when the majority of Karachi’s localities are suffering from major electricity issues and when every day we hear or read about public protests against power outages, I would like to highlight an incident with a happy ending. The power broke down in my area at around 4pm last Saturday, and I lodged a complaint to the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) shortly afterwards. However, it wasn’t until 6pm in the evening that I realised the gravity of the situation. It seemed that the only street in the entire area that was suffering from electricity outage was ...

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KESC sacking: Wrong time for the right decision

The weakening economy is impacting every sector and one of the worst hit seems to be the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC). The company was already a victim of corruption and a house to ‘ghost employees’ when General Musharraf privatised the utility company in an attempt to provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the city. The new, improved KESC fulfilled its promise.  The new organization was restructured on revolutionary lines. Initiatives against electricity theft were introduced and load shedding hours were reduced to as little as 3 hours (compared with more than 10 hours). KESC took all necessary measures to ...

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KESC misdeeds and the abuse of power

It was 6 pm and I had just entered my home after a long, hectic day at the office, when the bell rang and a very efficient looking KESC team for the Defence area came in, claiming that according to Section 20 of the Electric Act 1910, they were required to carry out an inspection of the electricity metre. As per the rules, our meter is installed outside the house, where I took the team so that they could carry out the inspection. As one of them inspected the electricity metre thoroughly, he found no fault in its operation. Then ...

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Power crisis: The road to impending doom

The nation faces a severe power crisis yet again, not entirely unanticipated, as summers draw to their summit. Because of the frequent outages and prolonged load shedding hours, the masses are already on the streets, violently recording their protest. The disruption has also adversely affected commercial activity and industrial production all around the nation and the losses have accumulated to deteriorate national economic indexes. The governmental policy of two-day weekends and the 8pm shutter down have not fared well as the masses continue to express their anger against such short-term measures. It has also pushed ground-level commercial actors, the shopkeepers, ...

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