Wednesday, July 22, 2009

KESC takeover by Govt. of Pakistan?

KESC has been issued a show-cause notice by the government for being lazy in providing electricity to the consumers, you and I and everyone in between. That much was expected from the lame duck government, which we have, on our heads and on our country.

KESC has been doing nothing, except for giving statements, regarding the power shortages across the city. It has all the reasons in the world when load shedding occurs for, say, 19 hours on the run. Even when 80% of the city was black out this rain fall KESC told us that it was due to tripping of transformers and disconnection with the national grid. All science to me!

Now what if President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, takes over the management of KESC from the private sector. What will be the change? Will KESC deliver better goods. We have all seen that KESC has gotten worse in the time of Musharraf, darling of the West and of our continuously-fighting army. We saw, to our collective horror, privatization of a public utility. We chided it for being naive and very un-courteous. We expected Musharraf to take back his decision. But he was money-hungry, like most army generals are. So he sold KESC to someone who had no experience running such a huge utility firm. Sorry and sad.

Now, President of Pakistan, by issuing a notice to KESC has already warned it of dire consequences. [And that may have come due to persistent rioting by many citizens of Karachi]. Let us see, with crossed fingers and double crossed hope that KESC does something better. But can it do anything better when the people running it are of the same lot who ran it before privatization? Can a utility do miracles without the proper auditing of its reports and with all the Kundas we see everyday. I am not sure.

Before Zardari takes action against KESC he must ensure that there is not a single home or an office or a factory which is being run on Kunda system. There is not a single bill which is not paid. If Zardari and his minnows can do that, they have all the right in the world to take action against the utility including the reversing of privatization of the firm. Otherwise, morally speaking, Zardari should stick to his government.

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