Crackdown planned against illegal housing societies

Authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have decided to launch a crackdown against illegal housing societies, which owe billions in unpaid electricity bills.

They are also set to accelerate operations against commercial electricity consumers, with a focus on recovering overdue electricity bills from users of defaulted feeders in various districts of the province.

At the third meeting of the Provincial Task Force chaired by Additional Chief Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department Mohammad Abid Majeed, the district administrations and police officers across the province were directed to ensure the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) before filing FIRs against electricity consumers.

Divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, district police officers, representatives of Energy & Power and Industries Departments and CEO Pesco also attended the meeting, according to a handout issued here on Saturday. Under the supervision of the KP Task Force for Energy, during a one-month operation, more than 20,645 individuals involved in the illicit practice of “Kunda” culture have had their connections removed. Also, fines and arrears totaling over Rs1.43 billion have been recovered, with Rs110 million retrieved from electricity consumers engaged in these unlawful activities.

The meeting was informed that since September 5, over 10,406 raids have been conducted in various districts of the province, in collaboration with PESCO, district administrations, and the police. These raids targeted commercial hubs and factories engaged in illegal electricity consumption.

More than 20,645 connections, including those of consumers involved in the Kunda mafia, were disconnected. Cases were filed against more than 7,080 individuals by local police, resulting in the arrest of 479 suspects.

Furthermore, Chairman Task Force Muhammad Abid Majeed stressed the need for strict action against housing colonies established without government permission, where customers owe billions in arrears, and major commercial customers are involved in power theft.

He called for an expedited operation against these major offenders. It was also emphasised to accelerate the recovery campaign against consumers in Bannu, Kohat, DI Khan, and Mardan divisions at the feeder level while maintaining focus on ongoing targets. Senior Joint Secretary of the Power Division Arshad Majeed issued instructions to Pesco chief, emphasising the need to expedite the collection of dues from defaulting customers in instalments and the process of meter installation.

2023-10-08

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