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Profile

Lt. Col. Asad Ali Shah

Col. Asad Ali Shah is currently serving as the Officer Incharge for Billing and Meter Department of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC).

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Oct 29 - Nov 04, 2001

He was one of the members of the team of army officers inducted in KESC during 1999 by the government. In order to put the house in order before placing the KESC in the market for privatization, the government had decided to bring army officers in KESC to rescue this sinking organization on account of massive losses due to rampant corruption, inefficiency, line losses, power theft etc. The uninterrupted power supply, which is basic need for economic growth, was causing serious damages to the industrial sector in Karachi. The shabby conditions prevailing in KESC were not only responsible for hardships to the domestic consumers but also creating a bad image about infrastructure facilities, a pre-requisite for attracting investment in the private sector. Col. Asad did his intermediate from PAF Model School Karachi and was commissioned in 1980.

PAGE: Billing department in any organization plays a vital role especially for financial health of the company. What improvements have been achieved in this department after induction of army in KESC?

Col. Asad: As you know the KESC has recently launched a special campaign for the recovery of outstanding dues, which are estimated to over Rs20 billion. This is the backlog inherited to the current management. In order to recover maximum of the stuck up dues, the present management has offered unprecedented incentives to facilitate the consumers. Never before in the history of KESC such incentives were offered to the consumers. Under this campaign, the management has decided to completely waive up to Rs10,000 stuck up for more than ten years. For recovery of the dues amounting to Rs10,000 or more with a period of less than 10 years, the KESC has offered a facility of 10 to 15 installments. However the installment facility would be allowed to the customers who will pay a 30 per cent of the total outstanding. This facility will remain available till the end of the holy month of Ramazan. Beside installment facility, the KESC has also decided not to go for disconnection on account of default during next two months. Hopefully, the customers will avail this facility and a bulk of the outstanding amount is expected to be paid by the consumers.

PAGE: What action the KESC will take against the defaulters who did not respond to the facility scheme offered by the KESC.

Col. Asad. Amendment in the law is in the pipeline to deal with the wilful defaulters after the expiry of the time frame given for the recovery of the outstanding dues. The punitive actions would be harsh against the wilful defaulters.

PAGE: KESC consumers also have some genuine concerns and complain such as inflated billing and a punitive action against the consumers of faulty meters. The penalty of three-year average bill to the consumers of faulty or damaged meters is certainly unjustified and seems to be a unilateral decision by the KESC.

Col. Asad: You are right, the chairman WAPDA and KESC has taken notice of this lacunae and the KESC management has also taken the remedial measures to redress the problems of the genuine electricity consumers.

The billing department has been asked not to go beyond three months for the domestic consumers and two months for the industrial or commercial consumers. Agreeing to PAGE he said that in case of three year average bill issued to the consumer, the concerned KESC staff would also be asked where were you since three years and why you did not take note of the damaged or faulty or any other case in connection with power consumption. Hence the KESC has taken note of this problem by its own to facilitate its customers.

PAGE: There are general complaints about the fast speed of the meters, the complaint for replacement of speedy meters take long time as the procedure for testing the faulty meters is very time consuming. What steps are being taken to redress this problem?

Col. Asad: The metering department is also being upgraded to resolve the problem of the faulty meters within a month. A special counter has also been established at Elender Road to entertain complaints of faulty meters. Such complaints lodged at this counter would be entertained with a period of 15 days. Regarding speedy meters, a special mobile testing van has been acquired by the KESC, which will test the speed of the meters at the doorsteps of the consumers. KESC has acquired this costly equipment to address the problem of meters at the earliest. Five more of such equipment are being acquired to produce results to the satisfaction of the valued customers, he said.

PAGE: How the KESC consumers have responded to your incentive package, which is two weeks old now?

Col. Asad: The results are very encouraging as the customers are approaching at all the 16 special counters set up at all billing zones to avail the facility. This incentive package also entertain the cases of disputed bills and the customers who had to run from pillar to post to get resolve the problem of the disputed bills in the past. Such customers can also enjoy this scheme.