Monday, July 20, 2009

Powerless in Karachi

A quick non-expletive-ridden word about the absolute disaster known as the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation. Two days on from the torrential downpour in the city on Saturday July 18, and 70 per cent of it is still without power.

The KESC Managing Director Naveed Ismail, holding a press conference on Monday (July 20) afternoon even as riots broke out all over the city had the gall to claim, with not a hint of irony, that "there is no problem with power generation. In fact, we were supplying power to WAPDA yesterday." Er, yeah... you should have surplus power you dodo! Nobody's getting it in Karachi!

So, as usual when it's not "too much load" or "not enough generation", it's "technical faults", "cable faults" and, my favourite, "tripping." That's a whole lot of grid stations on acid, if you ask me. But the question is this: who lays those lines that develop faults at the first drop of rain? Who instals those grid stations and transformers that blow whether it's too hot or too wet. I've never heard of them overheating in Dubai or Saudi Arabia, which have much higher temperatures than ours on a more consistent basis. I've never heard of them constantly tripping out on a few drops of water in Malaysia or Thailand which get far more rain than Karachi does. Why are we constantly hearing about the need to upgrade transmission lines and feeders - I have been hearing about this at least for 25 years - but nothing ever gets done? Perhaps if they spent less on public relationing with hundreds of thousands of rupees of ads and cushy perks for their PR bozos and more on developing a cleaner transmission system...

There is no denying that Karachi's electricity supply system needs massive overhaul but it's not just the fault of the people who came before. The present lot are equally to blame for adding to the problem - have you ever seen how they work? There is no system, a lot of jugaar, and an ubiquitous chalta-hai attitude. The way I look at it, KESC top to bottom is either criminally callous and lazy or stupendously inefficient and stupid. In either case, that's grounds for dismissal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We should have Referendum on the issue of Kalabagh Dam We Must Go For It