ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Wednesday imposed Rs2 million fine on K-Electric for prolonged power breakdown in Karachi in June last year and failure to comply with performance standards.
The regulator said the power utility failed to restore power supply within the prescribed time frame and to ensure the safety of the people of Pakistan.
It said a large area of Karachi remained without electricity due to tripping of almost 700 feeders during rains on June 28, 2017 and onwards which resulted in power supply outage ranging from 24 to 48 hours in almost 50 per cent of Karachi. Furthermore, fatal injuries to public were also reported due to electrocution.
The regulator took notice of the situation in Karachi and directed KE to immediately provide a detailed report on feeder tripping and electrocution incidents which occurred during the said time period along with preventive and corrective steps taken by the utility. “The report submitted by K-Electric revealed that almost 600 feeders on June 28 and 400 feeders on June 29, 2017 were tripped for longer duration due to 30 millimeter rain”.
In view of the poor state of affairs on part of KE, Nepra decided to initiate legal proceedings and after completing the due process of law passed the final order on Wednesday, the regulator said in a statement.
The regulator also observed that Karachi had suffered prolonged unscheduled electricity outages for more than twenty four hours in different areas of the city on June 28 and onward. “Weak and fragile distribution network was the major reason for such unscheduled power cuts which could not withstand few millimeters rain and K-Electric failed to resume the power supply within prescribed time period,” Nepra said.
The regulator observed with concern that people were electrocuted and died due to poor maintenance of distribution network by KE. This indicated that KE’s network was full of safety hazards and there was no mechanism to develop safety culture and rectify safety hazards so that public lives could be saved during such emergency situations. Therefore, the regulator imposed the fine under Nepra Fine Rules.
A KE spokesperson said the power utility would approach the regulator to review its decision as the company was committed to providing sustainable power supply to customers.
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2018