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April 9, 2020

KE resumes meter reading in selected areas today


April 9, 2020

The K-Electric (KE) has decided to resume meter reading in selected areas of the city from Thursday (today), said a press release on Wednesday.

The power utility has taken this step in consultation with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) after considering customers’ demands in this regard. Over the next few days, the KE will issue the bills for April.

The consumers needed not pay their bills issued for March under the average billing mode, it said. “If some consumers have already paid their bills, they will be adjusted with actual meter readings in the bill for the month of April. For areas where the utility is unable to resume meter reading, customers will continue to receive their bills under the revised average billing mode on an interim basis.”

It added: “Additionally, the KE has implemented relief measures such as due date extension for bills below Rs4,000 along with the option of deferred payment via instalments over three months to residential single phase customers consuming less than 300 units a month, which was announced as part of the PM Relief for COVID-19. The KE has also decided to continue the said instalments for April’s bill as well.”

It said the KE had initiated these measures to play its part in reducing the burden on consumers at this time. “At a time when the KE’s foremost responsibility of ensuring uninterrupted power supply is more critical than ever before, the power utility’s essential staff is working on rotation from vital locations, such as generation plants and load dispatch centres.

To ensure that it can continue providing uninterrupted service, the utility once again requests the federal and provincial governments to clear the outstanding receivables amounting to around Rs240 billion.”

Meeting with governor

Sindh’s governor said on Wednesday that average electricity billing is sheer injustice to the people of Karachi, adding that the federal government will not let this wrong happen at any cost.

Imran Ismail said this during a meeting with K-Electric Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Syed Moonis Abdullah Alvi at the Governor House. Ismail took exception to KE’s decision to exercise the option of average billing because the power utility could not carry out actual meter reading in the current month due to a lockdown imposed by the government to slow down local transmission of COVID-19.

The power company’s CEO assured the governor that KE would not be exercising the option of average billing because the electricity utility would resume carrying out meter reading for normal billing.

Alvi said KE consumers would pay in accordance with the normal bills that would be issued to them on the basis of the actual meter reading of their consumption of electricity.

However, the consumers who have already received their average electricity bills have the option to decide whether or not to pay their average bills, added the CEO of the power utility. He said KE would not take any action against the consumers who did not pay their average bills. The meeting also took into consideration the steps taken by the electricity company to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the people of Karachi during the lockdown.

Ehsaas programme

Governor Ismail also chaired a meeting on the federal government’s Ehsaas programme, in which he said the Centre had been doing its best to provide rations and emergency cash assistance to the families who had been hit the hardest by the preventive lockdown against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The governor said the federal government had launched the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme to support the needy families facing severe hardships because of the government-imposed lockdown. He said the emergency assistance programme would go a long way in providing relief to the poor families during the COVID-19 emergency.

The lockdown orders have caused serious hardships in developing countries due to poverty of the masses, he added. Ismail said Prime Minister Imran Khan and his team were completely committed to tackling the coronavirus crisis.

The meeting also took into consideration the ways and means to simplify the process of providing emergency cash assistance to the needy families during the lockdown. The meeting was also attended by PM’s Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar (via video conferencing from Islamabad), and leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Grand Democratic Alliance and the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan.