Karachi Electric Supply Company offices could not be reopened despite labour union’s pledge


Karachi: Karachi Electric Supply Company has expressed great disappointment over union activists’ and their leadership’s refusal to give free access to various offices, service and operational centres and the central supply store despite firm commitment given to the Governor Sindh and other higher officials of the province. Law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, could not implement clear instructions given to them to get the utility’s offices and Central Stores re-opened on Friday. The law enforcement authorities informed KESC management that the defunct labour union’s leaders had refused to honour the commitment made in the meeting that took place in Governor house Thursday afternoon. KESC has demanded that government should now take firm action against these miscreants who are not willing to give up their illegal actions and are causing great misery to over 20 million people of Karachi.

KESC has informed the Governor and other higher officials of the provincial government of the continuing blockage of normal functioning and non-issuance of repair material from Central Stores, and pointed out that in absence of security and repair material the utility would not be able to attend to dozens of public complaints and restore power supply in areas affected by local faults. KESC has demanded safe and secure access to offices and stores which the union miscreants had purposely been blocking in a bid to antagonize and provoke Karachi population so that law and order situation could be created to put pressure on the government.

KESC said that this was a conspiracy to disturb peace of the City launched by a handful of mobsters who did not care about KESC’s functioning and employees or the interests of over 20 million power users of Karachi. KESC management had issued orders to all the employees to open offices on Friday morning following the decisions of high level meetings at Governor House on Thursday, as the concerned executive authorities had also confirmed to provide due security. Field operations had already started from Thursday night.

However, the blockage situation remained unchanged on Friday. KESC said that the union miscreants had been continuing their sabotage acts despite making commitments to Governor Sindh, Home Minister and top authorities of Civil Administration which proved the fact that they could not be trusted.

None of the main offices at Abdullah Haroon Road or Elandar Road or the four regional offices or Central Stores or Transformers Workshop could be opened as the union miscreants led by their top office-bearers were still blocking entry of employees through use of force. Police personnel did not take action to manage free and safe movement as agreed at Governor House but remained busy “negotiating” with union activists and later reported their failure. The IT head office at power house also remained closed due to the blockage caused by union miscreants. Scores of employees tried to enter through the main gate but were pushed back by armed union activists. Key leaders of the union were seen sending back employees who tried to enter KESC offices at state life building, civic centre, handicraft building and Elander Road.

Police officers informed KESC management that the union activists had decided not to allow normal functioning of the utility. None of the four main regional offices as well as the business, operations and maintenance offices at Civic Centre, Malir, Korangi, Gadap, Shah Faisal Colony, Bin Qasim, KIMZ, Civic Centre, SITE, Defence, Clifton, Saddar, Bahadurabad, Tipu Sultan Road, Garden, and dozens of other places could be opened for work. The miscreants also forced the repair work at SITE Grid Station to stop.

A group of union miscreants forced the repair work to stop at the Underground Maintenance Centre and Transformers Workshop in SITE where three testing teams had been working to rectify feeder faults supply power to Frontier Colony and Ibrahim Ali Bhai. All the repair and maintenance vehicles hijacked by union miscreants during the past over two months continued to be misused for blocking of work and movement. Another outsourced repair vehicle, JX-5571 was hijacked on Friday by union miscreants from Kausar Medical Store near Khaliq Dina Hall at M. A. Jinnah Road while the repair team arrived there to repair a local fault.

The union miscreants made hostage an operation team working on a fault at Grid Station inside Power House at Elandar Road, including manager Mr. Jamali and other members of the team. The miscreants stopped the repair work and also snatched their cell phones, cash and other belongings.

KESC on Friday informed the concerned government officials of the current hopeless situation and the failure of law enforcement agencies to get the utility’s offices and assets vacated from illegal possession and siege of union miscreants. KESC demanded government support and protection for resumption of public dealing, network and maintenance operations as it was discussed and agreed during the Thursday meeting at Governor House.

In view of the ongoing trouble from union miscreants the utility has made it clear to the government that its ability to attend public complaints and to repair local faults would remain very limited in case due protection was not provided to KESC employees and assets. KESC said that in the absence of material and the continuation of insecurity and life risk to employees, it would not be possible for the utility to continue its field operations for very long.

The fraud of union’s commitment to the government was exposed when their main leaders refused to allow issuance of repair material from Central Stores on Friday despite efforts by senior police officers. The union miscreants had placed a Shehzore truck in the passage way of main gate blocking any entry or exit, and had also tempered with the lock to make it ineffective. KESC management made all efforts to issue transformers and other equipment from the Central Stores needed at various points of local faults but the union miscreants foiled the attempt.

Town Police Officer negotiated with union leaders including Mr. Akhlaq, chief of union, asking him to allow the material released but he refused point blank. Truck loads of equipment and material waited for several hours to get exit but were off loaded later. Because of the non-supply of repair material and equipment, KESC could not attend to numerous pending local faults all across the City which had been causing great inconvenience to the general public.

For more information, contact:
Adil Murtaza
Assistant Manager, Media and PR
Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11, Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +9221 9920 7163
Cell: +92346 822 3641
Email: adil.murtaza@kesc.com.pk