Govt move to replace under-fire KE boss

ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted a special committee to act as one-window operation for K-Electric and sought removal of the top leadership of the power utility over its alleged inability to ensure uninterrupted power supply and address disruptions within reasonable time after recent rains.

Highly placed sources said the government members on the K-Electric board of directors had pushed for the replacement of Chief Executive Officer Moonis Alvi and head of the distribution department with highly motivated professionals who could respond to difficult situations and ensure efficient service delivery. “The existing team did not take timely action,” an official said.

All those responsible for the ongoing crisis and recent loss of lives should be taken to task and heads should roll,” said an official, adding that power division and ministry of energy believed that responsibility should be fixed in the matter of K-Electric as well on the pattern of distribution companies where CEOs are removed for non-performance.

The sources said the government had also separately taken up this demand with the chairman of the board. Asked as to how the board responded to the government demand for replacement of CEO and head of distribution, the official said things would slowly move towards that direction as a special committee would follow up.

The official said the board “endorsed all decisions taken earlier at a meeting presided over by federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan” and a four-member committee had been constituted as directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Led by additional secretary for power Waseem Mukhtar, the committee comprised additional finance secretary Ahmad Mujtaba Memon, Chaudhry Khaqan Sadullah Khan and Rohail Mohammad.

The committee will meet on a weekly basis and review implementation status of various decisions taken by the federal government and the KE board.

KE officials did not comment on the development.

Separately, the Ministry of Energy on Monday formed another seven-member committee to look into the matter of K-Electric for one-window operation in line with the Supreme Court directives. The committee, headed by Additional Secretary Power Waseem Mukhtar, would consist of Additional Secretary Petroleum and representatives from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC), K-Electric, Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) and Power Division, a news release said.

The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Minister for Power and Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan, and attended among others by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power Shahzad Qasim, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Nepra Chairman Tauseef Faruqi, Power Secretary Omer Rasul, chairman and members of K-Electric Board, CPPA, NTDC and Power Division officials.

The committee would look into the matters of K-Electric and work under a mechanism of one-window operation to ensure provision of uninterrupted power supply to people of Karachi as per directives of the Supreme Court.

The energy minister directed the K-Electric to arrange pumps and other machinery for drainage of water from sub-stations of electricity in Karachi, besides preparing lists of all such stations where rain-water had converged.

The meeting also decided that Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) would increase gas pressure and supply to power plants operating in Korangi, which would help generate additional 100MW to 150MW power for K-Electric.

The NTDC assured the meeting that work on D-Line of Jamshoro would be expedited and completed by next year from where 400MW additional electricity would be provided to K-Electric through national grid. The Nepra chairman briefed the meeting about public hearing held in the light of Supreme Court directives and decisions taken to redress the grievances.

The power division had initiated coordination with the federal cabinet and the ministry of law over appointment of members of Nepra appellate tribunal and chairman as per the apex court directives. The cabinet division is seeking appointment of a retired judge and two members of the appellate tribunal on the nomination of Sindh and Balochistan. The power division had already written to the cabinet division for appointment of the Nepra appellate tribunal members and chairman.

The meeting also directed the K-Electric to increase coordination with provincial departments.

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