ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – While the masses suffer from frequent, sometimes even unscheduled power outages, several government departments in Sindh have been caught stealing electricity by hooking “kundas” on to the main grid.

During a briefing earlier this week, the chief officer of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) told a Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power that the several government buildings were using a ‘”kunda” (direct line) to steal electricity supply.

The HESCO chief further told the Senate committee that the Water and Sanitation Agency owes the power supplier millions of rupees in electricity bills during the current year, ARY News reported.

The Senate committee was also told that many police stations in Hyderabad were blatantly stealing electricity.

Pakistan faces a year-round electricity shortfall which can rise up to 8,000-9,000MW in the peak summer season. Electricity theft is therefore viewed as a serious crime, with the government having passed laws and presidential ordinances against it.

However, it is unclear how many times these laws and ordinances have been applied to government departments stealing electricity or whether ordinary citizens alone have to pay for the crime.