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Union agitation in violation of court orders, challenge to government’s writ

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Karachi: The Karachi Electric Supply Company’s ability to operate has greatly been affected by the agitation of absent and inactive employees outside the utility’s head offices who are challenging the writ of the government by violating law as Section 144 is already in force, and the orders of Sindh High Court which has declared the strike as illegal and unjustified. The Sindh High Court has also issued contempt of court notice to the union upon violating the orders. The government needs to take action under law and the court orders, and provide the utility a peaceful atmosphere to work.

The KESC’s functioning has already been affected by the illegal and disruptive blocking of work by the striking employees. The administration has allowed hundreds of agitating union strikers to gather before KESC’s head offices, which has greatly hampered the utility’s focus on real issues relating to the power consumers. This has been done in direct violation Section 144 and the orders of Sindh High Court prohibiting any protest or demonstration close to KESC’s offices and installations.

The Government needs to provide suitable working atmosphere to the foreign investors who have injected huge capital into the utility to make it an efficient and consumer-friendly company. The government has so far lacked in providing security cover to the repair and maintenance teams attending to public complaints. The union miscreants attack duty staff and manhandle them, damage equipment and vehicles, and cause undue faults in the power supply system. They have so far attacked grid stations, burnt down substations, disconnected power cables and damaged the public services vehicles. The KESC understands that the government needs to take action and enforce law and court decisions in the best interest of general public.

The KESC has been receiving minimal gas supply from SSGC since Wednesday midnight without any prior notice which has drastically reduced the utility’s power generation capacity as most of the gas engines and turbines have not been generating optimum electricity because of low gas pressure. Two gas turbines at Combined Cycle Power Plant Korangi went out of order because of the sudden tripping, while plants at Bin Qasim Power Station, Korangi Thermal Power Station and SITE Gas Turbine Power Station are producing less electricity.

The KESC is buying furnace oil worth Rs. 30 crores every day on cash to compensate the gas supply gap. However, the drop in gas supply affected power supply to industrial areas, usually exempted from load shedding, since 2 am to 8 am Thursday morning, when electricity was diverted to residential areas on night time priority basis. Industrial areas were normalized Thursday morning. However, in view of the continuing minimal gas supply, six hours load shedding in 24 hours has been introduced to industrial areas from Thursday till resumption of normal gas supply.

Load shedding schedule for residential and commercial areas till resumption of normal gas supply would be: a total of three hours load shedding in low loss areas in three cycles; six hours load shedding in medium loss areas in four cycles; and, a total of nine hours load shedding in high loss areas in four cycles. The load shedding plan would be revised again after the gas supply from SSGC normalizes.

For more information, contact:
Adil Murtaza
Assistant Manager, Media and PR
Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11, Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 7163
Cell: +92346 822 3641


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