KARACHI - The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) will now take aggressive steps against the electricity theft, including the commercial, industrial, residential and welfare organisations involved in such criminal act, said the CEO KESC, Naveed Ismail. He said that the utility had requested the federal government for making electricity theft a non bail-able offence, like the practice in many other countries. He informed media that 37 cases had been registered against those involved in the electricity theft and seven persons had been arrested. He was accompanied by Jan Abbas Zaidi, chief operating officer distribution, Owais Naqvi, chief communications officer, Zahid Chaudhry, head of supply chain, and Ayesha Eirabie, director corporate communications. Unveiling a 10-point charter to tackle the issue of electricity theft in Karachi, he said that from now onwards, the KESC had decided not to offer any relief or bargain or instalments or grace period to the individuals and institutions involved in stealing the electricity. Instead of showing politeness and gentleness to the power thieves as we have been doing in the initial few months so as to let the society understand the gravity of the issue, we shall now be pursuing an aggressive and hard hitting fight against theft, and would not only register criminal cases but would also announce names of the culprits in the media through statements as well as advertisements, with the specific purpose of bringing shame to them, he declared. Zaidi informed that a total of 37 cases had recently been registered against power thieves and 7 accused had been arrested on this charge. Challan of 18 cases had been prepared while work was in progress on the remaining 19 cases. Naming seven high profile cases, he named City Hospital, DMCHS, which stole power worth Rs3,856,321. LeCole School, DHA, committing theft of Rs6,090,067 and Hilltop Hotel PECHS worth Rs4,34,0313. The Askari Park near Old Sabzi Mandi, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, stole the electricity of Rs1,700,000, Shoe Factory in PIB Colony of Rs1,000,000, Plastic Factory in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block No 4 has the theft of Rs900,000 and Abid Masood Ice Factory, Korangi of Rs2,000,000 with Rs500,000 monthly theft. Ismail pointed out that after surveying the whole scenario the KESC had reached the conclusion that more than the dwellers of slums and katchi abadis, the electricity theft had mainly been committed by the well-off, rich and influential users who could easily afford to pay the bill but they had been stealing this basic necessity. This situation has called for a harsh action, and no further leniency would be provided. This had been eating out the utility in financial and organisational terms as well as causing long dark hours to the genuine and law-abiding consumers. The KESC needed cash return of the electricity that it supplied, not only for investment into future plans but also to contribute towards the countrys economy by ensuring a non-stop supply of power to its domestic, commercial, industrial and agricultural consumers spread over 6,000 square kilometres, he said. Ismail said that theft of electricity through 'Kunda was only one facet; Karachi is facing organised and systematic theft by those individuals, organisations and institutions, who knew their obligations to society and could pay. He said that raids would be conducted against each and every power thief, whether big or small and whether common or influential, with the help of KESCs police as well as the normal police and rangers personnel. The KESC had waited for a fair period of time since its first call against power theft about three months ago, and now it needed to bring order to the situation and, as a result of recent developments, the KESC had full support of federal government, CDGK and other key bodies in the fight against theft. He further said that the utility would be announcing the names of electricity thieves every week and criminal cases would be registered against them under regular FIRs. We need to redistribute electricity in this City and support the poor sections of society who need it and cant afford it, because those who steal drive up costs, add pressure to all and increase prices for the rest of consumers, he said and added that: We will continue to push until things change and the issue is fixed. He said that the KESCs new management had invested in alleviating loadshedding pressure over summer: to the tune of US$35 million of new cash. The owners were committed to US$361 million of equity support to KESC and as a key strategic shareholder, the government would commit US$140 million into KESC, total, half a billion US dollars of fresh equity, with more from our private sector owners as required to fix KESC once and for all. Zaidi, than added that 52 per cent of complaint calls by consumers about theft have proved to be true, which is very encouraging and positive scene. Five major areas are identified in the light of public complaints that are Gulistan-e-Jauhar from where 86 complaints had been received; New Karachi complaints amount 54, complaints from Korangi 34 and Malir City 32. From Block 13 Gulshan-e-Iqbal 24 complains and Korangi Colony 23. Baldia Colony 22; Shah Faisal Colony 21 and Garden West have registered 20 complains. A total of 47 cases had been registered against the persons involved in wire theft and 54 accused had been arrested so far. He said that action had also been taken against the KESC employees who had found guilty of the charges of involvement. He also gave out the operational update, stating that the total demand on Saturday stood at 2,293MWs while the utility had been supplying 2,239MWs.