KARACHI - Many Areas Suffer Power Breakdown, Fluctuations

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KARACHI: Many Areas Suffer Power Breakdown, Fluctuations

By Our Reporter

KARACHI, April 3: Despite KESC Chairman's promise of a load-shedding free summer in Karachi, the KESC system this summer would be more overloaded, and there would be more complaints of prolonged power breakdowns.

Although it was just the beginning of summer, residents in many parts of the city were experiencing power breakdown owing to overloading of the system. Whether it is part of Defence, Clifton, Nazimabad or Gulshan-i-Iqbal, residents were complaining of long duration power breakdown.

A survey of 15 North Karachi residential feeders showed that all of them were heavily overloaded due to which they are tripping more than once everyday. In some parts it is three times a day.

According to information gathered by the Concerned Citizen's Association, as against the original total capacity of 2160 amps these feeders were taking the toll of 3530 amps, which was expected to rise further with the increase in temperature.

Paradise feeder, which had the capacity between 110 and 180 amps, was sustaining the load of 250 amp, Shadman feeder was taking the toll of 300 amps instead of 180 amps capacity.

The existing load on Muslim Town feeder was 210 amps instead of 180 amps, Red Rose 240 amps instead of 180, Blue Bird 300 amps instead of 180, Saleem Centre 140 instead of 60, Pole97 which had the capacity of 40 amps was bearing the load of 160 amps.

Load on Modern Complex feeder was 300 amps though its designated capacity was 180 amps, Pole17 which had the capacity of 180 amps was also overburdened with 300 amps. Today's Restaurant feeder was taking the toll of 300 amps instead of 180, Surjani Pak I, 200 amps instead of 180, Bilal Goldsmith 300 amps instead of 180, Nazia Square 90 amps instead of 40, Shireen Cinema feeder was overloaded to the tune of 240 amps instead of 140 and Buffer Zone feeder was taking the toll of 200 amps instead of 80 amps.

On account of overloading of these feeders, formal load-shedding is not needed because the feeders automatically trip two or three times a day, and they are restored after more than an hour. On many occasions the KESC switch off the feeders to avoid major faults.

KESC LOSSES: Transmission and distribution losses of the KESC, which suffered a pre-tax loss of Rs7,364,45 million during 1998-99, registered a 4.2 per cent increase during this period, auditors of the utility observed in the annual report presented in the annual general meeting of the shareholders.

The document released to the press on Monday states that T&D losses on June 30, 1999 stood at 38.64 per cent as compared to 34.62 per cent a year earlier.

Chairman of KESC in his review of the year 1998-99 maintained that losses had reached 48.3 per cent in June 99, but since the army took over the utility it had been brought down to 39.2 per cent in September 99. The target for T&D losses for the year ending on June 30, 2000 had been fixed at 30 per cent.

In the director's report to the members the increase in T&D losses had been attributed mainly to "processing of cases of allowances for rectification of previous bills". A major factor which had adversely affected financial position of the utility was the increasing T&D losses which include substantial theft of electricity.

During the period under review the overtime paid to the employees amounted to Rs793.947 million, which was 162 per cent of the basic salary paid to the employees. The overtime paid was substantial as compared to basic salary of employees, which aggregated to Rs491.038 million.

This was despite a decrease from 159 per cent in 1997-98 to 140 per cent in 1998-99. The increase in amount however was attributed to increase in basic pay, which formed the basis for calculation of rate of overtime.

The KESC accumulated losses (net reserves) of Rs13,432 billion on June 30, 1999 as against issued, subscribed and paid-up capital of Rs4.827 billion, which left a negative equity of Rs8.605 billion. Current liabilities during the period under review exceeded its assets by Rs9.635 billion. Line losses had complicated things for the utility.

Chairman of the KESC reported to the AGM on March 27 an increase of Rs2,642.20 million in total revenue (compared to Rs21,138.95 million) and increase of Rs3,149.94 million during the period under review.

Revenue from sale of energy during the period under review was Rs23,284.92 million whereas other income was estimated at Rs496.23 million. On the expenditure side cost of fuel and power purchase was Rs20,712.67 million, depreciation Rs2,726.20 million, interest Rs3,041.65 million.

Provision for doubtful debts had been put at Rs1,212.93 million whereas other expenses consumed Rs3,452.15 million, leaving a pre-tax loss of Rs7,364,45 million. Accumulation of energy dues to the tune of Rs18 billion had also created a serious liquidity problem for the utility.

Chairman of KESC/Wapda, Maj Gen Zulfiqar Ali Khan, also dealt with the various development projects initiated by the KESC, and other initiatives since the army formally took over the utility. But he did not mention the number of people who were made jobless.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), April 04, 2000

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