Utilities tackle losses, tampering and ‘the enemy within’



The chief executive engineer of Peshawar Electric Supply Corporation (Pesco) has required his staff to take an honesty oath, requiring them to promise to provide proper meter readings from both residential and business premises.

According to a report in the Express Tribune, employees of the corporation’s Hazara wing were also required to vow to “give up corruption and perform professional duties with zeal and spirit.”

The staff were required to take the oath during a ceremony attended by the Hazara SE Qazi Tahir, Electric Union chairman Jamil Tanoli and others.

All the employees were required to read and sign a declaration that “they will stop over billing, carry out actual meter reading, keep cell phones open round the clock to respond to complaints of the consumers, make efforts to stop electricity theft, issue new connections within 15 days and observe office timing.”

Losses increase in South Africa

In South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Bay metro is rolling out an ambitious R1.62-billion ($119 million)  plan to reduce water losses from 38% to 20%.

The plan will see the city upgrade deteriorating infrastructure and introduce ways to reduce water losses.

Water losses are largely due to ageing water and sanitation infrastructure, lack of financial resources, the high growth rate of water demand and poor governance in the municipality.

Infrastructure, engineering, electricity and energy political head Annette Lovemore said yesterday she was proud of the new business plan.

“We currently have physical water losses in the region of 30%, which is completely unacceptable from a water point of view and the amount of money that is literally going down the drain.

“[The plan is] to achieve within a decade water losses that are within international best practice standards.

“Our minimum aim at the end of a decade is 15% water loss, which is the upper limit of international best practice.”

As part of the remedial actions, the city will over introduce 40 water pressure reduction stations over the next decade, to supplement the 47 stations already in place.

Additionally, it was announced that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is offering a financial reward for the arrest and prosecution of people tampering with water and electricity connections. The mayor of the metro, Athol Trollip has announced a R25,000 reward “to anyone who provides the municipality with evidence that leads to successful prosecution of those responsible for sabotage”.

“Those responsible will be caught and face criminal and internal prosecution,” he said.

Pakistan losses account for billions annually

In Pakistan, the Chairman of the National Electricity & Power Regulatory Authority has told a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that annual losses of 250 billion rupees ($3,854,750,000) are the result of electricity theft in the country.

“The burden of electricity theft is being borne by the poor, government did not benefit [the] poor when prices of furnace oil decreased in international oil market and decision of NEPRA regarding reduction of electricity prices was challenged in the court by government and taken stay order has been taken from the court against NEPRA’s decision,” Chairman NEPRA told the meeting.