Credit should be given where due; so should be criticism. Amidst the scorching heat from the rising temperatures in the largest metropolis, the citizens of Karachi have been thumped by massive power shortfall right in the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
Why isolate Karachi’s situation from the rest of the country, which is also facing similar weather and power conditions?
K Electric Limited (KEL) is the only private entity amongst the DISCOs with apparently better load management, and while it has been appreciated for all its right moves and it success story, there is a sheer need for the firm to answer a couple of questions.
Why have there been no preparations for such extreme weather condition especially ahead of Ramadan – synonymous with curtailed load shedding promises by the power utilities. The present situation can easily be indexed to the rampant practice of ad hocism and improvisational policies and procedures adopted by most institutions in times of crisis.
The reason for the power failure being reported in KEL’s system is the sudden spike in electricity demand as mercury touched record levels. As per the firm’s Facebook page, peak demand in Karachi touched 3100MW on the weekend, which resulted in technical faults. While energy conservation plans by KEL are geared in the right direction, it is also time for a realistic demand assessment.
Another question that needs to be addressed is KEL’s near absence from social media in these troubled times contrary to their regular updates otherwise. And even though the firm has posted an official apology for the recent fault related outages along with its power restoration efforts, it faces the wrath of the masses due to poor communication, response and lack of clarity. Similarly, the firm’s customer service has been largely criticised for its unprofessional dealing, no response, lack of awareness and complete denial.
The KEL has also failed to live up to its promise of reduced load shedding during Ramadan for far like the public sector DISCOs; the death toll due to the current heat wave the city has risen over a hundred in the last couple of days. The irony is that even though the firm is ensuring a highly improved power situation soon for the majority of the city, heavy expected monsoon will be quick enough to put the firm under test again.
Source: Business Recorder