…and there will be light.
Never before have there been such frequent power outages in winter in Karachi as there were this last season. While growing demand due to a greater population and increased business activity are major factors leading to the energy crisis in the city, another reason can be attributed to lack of long term planning by the power providers.
But things might change for the better if the words of CEO KESC, S Muhammad Amjad, and PEPCO MD Baseer Munawwar Ahmed hold any weight. While the former claims Karachi will see no more power outages by 2012, the latter estimates that the power crisis will be over by 2010.
The presentation also brought to light the conflict between KESC and WAPDA. Amjad pointed out that the government is not allowing KESC to use the Gharo-Badin corridor windmills, because the power is to be transferred to WAPDA while Baseer maintained that KESC will have to arrange for its own power generation to meet the growing demand in Karachi. He also pointed out that there was no agreement between WAPDA and KESC for power purchase. He said that KESC cannot pay its outstanding amount, which runs into the billions of rupees.
Mr. Baseer also revealed some telling facts in his presentation at a seminar organized by ABB (Pvt) Limited. He said that billboards in the city consume 20 MWs per day, which is sufficient to light 100 villages and that electricity theft is high in DHA, where four air conditioners are used in a house but the bill is not paid.
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