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KESC 3

The case had been admitted for regular hearings in the courts of Jst.(r) Ajmal Mian. Hearings on each
civic agency were held separately every Saturday morning and MDs and senior officers of the civic
agencies were called and asked to give explanations. At that time it was observed that the fundamental
problems facing these agencies were corruption, theft, lack of accountability and maintenance,
mismanagement and outdated equipment.

In the case of KESC, shortage of power generation plants, poor distribution system, outdated equipment,
theft of electricity and line losses, which was as high as 35%, were also identified as one of the main
causes for its poor performance.

Committees, comprising of senior retired judges, lawyers, professionals, senior members of the civic
agencies, senior citizens and NGOs were formed and recommendations and suggestions were drawn up
and submitted to the Hon. Court.

Complaint centers were established, with one-window facilities to address the problems of the consumers,
banks were instructed to accept utility bill payments and improve their services. The Hon. Judge ordered
the MDs of the civic agencies to hold open kutcheries every month at major Complaint Centers and take
immediate action on the recommendation and suggestions and report its progress to the court.

Unfortunately, the government changed, the Supreme Court was moved to Islamabad and it was difficult
for all concerned to be in Islamabad every week and the litigation died a natural death. If only 30% of
the recommendations had been implemented, there would have been no need to privatize KESC and PTC
and we would not be facing the same crisis that we are facing today.
However, the group continued to work with the KESC management and interacted with almost all the
MDs, senior engineers and officers of KESC, but soon realized that there were power and influential
forces working in KESC, including political and labor unions with vested interests, which would not
allow any changes to be introduced. The recommendations and suggestions were totally ignored and
even an army Brigadier could not take appropriate steps to change and rectify the situation.
The reason KESC was privatized was to improve its services and bring an end to the power breakdowns,
load shedding, fluctuation, low voltage, billing and management problems, power theft, etc. It has
been almost six months now since KESC’s management has changed hands, but the service does not
appear to be improving. Many localities are facing power failures more than once a day and for long
durations and the public is highly dissatisfied with its services.
One accepts the fact that the mismanagement of the last 10 years cannot be removed with a magic wand
and in a few months. One can also accept the fact that there must be resistance to change by those
powerful interests from within the organization, including sabotage, and from those who steal
electricity and that is why the quality of service is not improving.

But the difficulties the new management would face in introducing changes and improvements in the
system were brought to the attention of those who were negotiating its sale. They were appraised of
the problems and the resistance the management would face, including the reasons for the killing of
Shahid Hamid, a former MD of KESC, who was gunned down in broad daylight outside his house in
Defence.