KESC resale without approval, says minister
KARACHI: The Sindh government on Saturday admitted that no approval was obtained by the previous owners of the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) from the provincial irrigation and power department at the time of the power utility’s resale to its current owners.
The fact came to light during the question hour in the Sindh Assembly when Minister for Irrigation and Power Murad Ali Shah responded to MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi’s question on the subject. Mr Jatoi wanted to know whether it was a fact that no approval was obtained from the Sindh government for the resale of the KESC at the time of the change of its owners.
The minister confirmed that no approval was obtained in this regard from his department. Replying to the same member’s question about unhygienic water being supplied to Hyderabad from the Kotri barrage, the minister informed the house that it was a responsibility of the district government concerned and the Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to filter, purify and treat the water meant for human consumption. He said that the district government Hyderabad/Wasa lifted water for Hyderabad city from the Kotri Barrage Headworks and Akram Wah.
Giving a reason for the contamination of water, Mr Shah said that some reaches of Latifabad front and loop bunds as well as Jamshoro loop bunds had been under occupation of encroachers for decades. FIRs had been lodged in this regard but the trend was continuing, he said, adding that a comprehensive anti-encroachment drive with the help of the police and judiciary needed to be launched to evict the encroachers.
MPA Naheed Begum wanted to know whether it was correct that power theft to the tune of Rs12 billion in the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) network was discovered or shown in the annual audit report 2008-09 of the power utility.
Mr Shah put the units and amount charged against power theft in Hesco system during 2008-2009 at 320.584 million units worth over Rs1.512 billion. He also spelt out the measures to check the power theft. The measures included removal of illegal connections, setting of a task force to curb the menace, lodging of FIRs against culprits and introduction of an incentive policy to regularise illegal connections.