KARACHI: Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister Former Justice Maqbool Baqar has urged K-Electric to generate cheap electricity by using local fuel, including renewable so that people could heave a sigh of relief in power bills.
He also urged the KE to guide their customers to use such appliances, including fans and LED bulbs which consume less electricity so that their burden of heavy bills could be curtailed. This he said while presiding over a meeting of KE to resolve their issues and work out a strategy to provide uninterrupted cheap electricity to the people of Karachi.
The meeting was attended by Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab, PSCM Agha Wasif, Secretary Finance Kazim Jatoi, Commissioner Karachi Saleem Rajput, Additional IG Karachi Khadim Rind, Secretary Energy Fayaz Abbasi, KE CEO Moonis Alvi, and Tariq Shah of Energy dept, Shabbar Zeidi and others.
The chief minister said that the KE should add local fuel-based electricity in their system so that power tariff could be reduced. The CEO KE Moonis Alvi told the CM that the KE was going to add 2172 MW, including 1,182 MW from renewable energy.
The KE CEO told the CM that the tariffs hike and power theft have shrunk power consumption by five percent and decreased recoveries by 3.4 percent. At this, the CM said that the ways and means should be explored to generate cheap electricity that the customers could afford to use.
Mayor Karachi Murtaza Wahab said that the PHL surcharge was applied to all customers across Pakistan to cover markup on loans taken on by Power Holdings Limited -a government entity – for power sector-related investments. He added that KE has no contribution to this debt; even then this surcharge (PHL) was levied on customers in Karachi as well.
Murtaza Wahab said that he would file suit in the NEPRA as Mayor of Karachi.
The Chief Minister said that he would also talk to the federal government to remove the burden of the Rs3.20 PHL surcharge.
The KE Chief told the CM that 174 instances of mob attacks on KE staff have been recorded, therefore he requested protection. At this, the CM directed Additional IGP Karachi Khadim Rind to provide protection to KE staff.
The Additional IG Police said that KE has a separate police station with an SHO, and ample police staff. The CM directed the Adl IGP to functionalize the KE Police station.
The chief minister also directed the KE to ensure the timely provision of electricity bills so that customers could have a few days to pay them. The KE Chief assured the chief minister that the provision of bills well in time would be ensured.