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Markets Print 2022-03-25

PESCO chief spells out reasons behind ‘poor’ show

ISLAMAABD: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Abdul Jabbar Khan has said that...
Published March 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) Abdul Jabbar Khan has said that large scale electricity theft, non-payment culture, life threats, road blockages by defaulters and hook users, Jirgas favouring defaulters and political interference due to voters’ pressure are the main issues affecting the performance of the company.

PESCO is a domestic oriented company (88%) and has eight circles, consisting of Peshawar, Khyber, Mardan, Hazara I, Hazara-II, Swat, and Bannu & Swabi. Out of eight circles, five circles Hazara-I, Hazara-II, Mardan, Swat and Swabi mostly consist of soft areas, whereas remaining three circles, Peshawar, Khyber and Bannu are hard areas.

The situation in PESCO is different from the other Discos: in PESCO existence of a sizeable part of company’s domain is non-complaint because of weak writ of the provincial government and the ground reality of worsening law and order situation in KP.

“We are facing serious difficulties in recovery of our legitimate electricity arrears particularly from domestic consumers and control of electricity theft. Theft of electricity at large scale, non-payment culture, life threats, road blockages by the defaulters and hook users, attacks on our offices and installation, Jirgas favouring defaulters, political interference due to voters’ pressure and acute shortage of staff are the main issues affecting the performance of PESCO,” said the CEO, in a letter to Secretary Power, Asif Hyder Shah.

The issues faced by PESCO have been duly acknowledged by the Federal Government & Provincial Government and in 2018 Chief Minister’s Task Force was constituted in the light of direction of Prime Minister to curb power theft by all means and save the national exchequer from loss.

According to the CEO, Chief Minister’s Task Force at provincial level and District Enforcement Committee (DEC) in each district has been established to supervise the operation against theft of electricity - a joint venture of Provincial Government and PESCO against pilferage of electricity.

The CEO maintained that a number of meetings have been conducted by PESCO staff with each and every member of District Enforcement Committee/ Local Administration by the respective Superintending Engineer to seek cooperation in anti-theft and recovery drive but the Local Administration is hesitant to extend full support and corporation in the eradication of Kunda culture, removing of direct hooks and recovering the outstanding arrears from PESCO defaulters.

The power utility, sources said, has requested Federal Government to approach provincial authorities to seek their help for success of drive against theft and for recovery from defaulters.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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