Thursday, March 06, 2008

City cut off over unpaid bill

Pakistan's national electricity provider shut off power to Karachi, the country's largest city, yesterday because of an unpaid bill, leaving more than 15 million people without electricity for much of the day, officials said.

The Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) pulled the plug at around 8am because of the money owed it by the local municipal power authority, and by mid-afternoon about 70% of the city was still waiting to be reconnected.

"We were hoping that Pepco would go for curtailment, but they opted for disconnection. We are trying to get things back to normal," said Syed Mohammed Amjad, the chief executive of the municipal power authority, Karachi Electric Supply Corporation.

Pepco began restarting supplies after the government intervened.

KESC promised to restore electricity across the city by 8pm last night.

Power cuts are relatively common in Karachi and in other parts of the country but yesterday's citywide cut was unprecedented, KESC said.

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