Last night there was a sudden electricity outage; I thought it might be a technical fault because usually load shedding doesn’t happen in the middle of the night. Our UPS was working and I fell asleep, I woke up around and found that the electricity was still out. I called Karachi Electricity Supply (KESC) helpline and was told that our area’s electricity had been purposely disconnected because of some large dues which had not been cleared. As I always pay my bill on time, I asked the representative why this was done. I then visited the KESC office to resolve the issue.

The officer present at the complaint section told me that they had disconnected the electricity of the whole area because one consumer had not paid his/her bill. I asked him how the issue could be resolved and the reply was that the defaulter had to clear their bill. He also added that this policy had been implemented by the higher authorities of KESC and this action was taken in all areas of Karachi.

I am completely baffled as to why and who could come up with such a ridiculous scheme? Why am I tortured because someone decided not to pay their bills? Is it fair to disconnect electricity across the area indiscriminately? If separate meters can be installed, why not disconnect that specific defaulter? In a diverse cultural city like Karachi and in such polarized environment, do you think it’s even safe to ask ones neighbours if they are paying their electricity bills? Do you think it’s even ethical?

Having said the above, I do understand the problems faced by KESC management when people don’t pay their bills or use illegal means to get electricity, but this is no way to get the dues cleared. I am sure that KESC has educated and intelligent people working for them who can come up with better policy to gave payments made on time from a certain consumer than plunging the whole area in darkness and torturing the paying consumer.

SHARJEEL MUSTUFA,

Karachi, April 15.