KE held responsible for 19 electrocution cases during recent monsoon spell

06 Sep 2019

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Nepra issues show-cause notice to the KE as the power company reviews it. — Reuters/File
Nepra issues show-cause notice to the KE as the power company reviews it. — Reuters/File

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday announced that it has found K-Electric responsible for 19 out of 35 electrocution cases and breakdown of power supply for prolonged periods during the recent spell of heavy rains in Karachi.

In the months of July and August, Karachi had experienced widespread monsoon rains that wreaked havoc on the city's infrastructure due to urban flooding and water accumulation.

A large number of fatal and non-fatal incidents occurred due to electrocution and prolonged power outages were experienced in many parts of the metropolis.

On August 17, the power sector regulator announced that it had initiated a formal investigation against the power generation and supply company over electrocution incidents in the city during the current monsoon season.

Nepra today announced that the investigation committee, constituted under Section 27A of NEPRA Act 1997, had submitted its investigation report to the authority.

The report regarding loss of human lives due to electric shocks and suspension of power supply for prolonged durations during rains in Karachi from July 29-31 and August 10-2 held the KE responsible for 19 out of 35 electrocution cases.

According to a statement by the regulatory authority, it has decided to initiate "legal proceedings against the KE under relevant provisions of NEPRA Act 1997".

"In this regard, a show cause notice has been issued to K-Electric for the charges against it," the statement added.

Later today, the power company in a statement said that the company would submit its reply after thoroughly reviewing the show-cause notice.

The statement said that the power company takes several measures, including placing safety breakers on the network and earthing. The company had also appealed to all authorities to ensure drainage of water after the rain and the urban flooding.

According to the KE, urban flooding and stagnant water affected the electricity instalments of the company. Also, safety measures become ineffective due to encroachment, theft of earthing wires, hooks and cables.

The company said that vulnerable streetlight switches and insecure usage of electricity generators also cause incidents.

The power company in its statement concluded by saying that it would cooperate with the regulator.

On August 27, the Sindh Assembly had passed a private resolution unanimously in which the KE was asked to pay Rs5 million to each of the more than 20 people electrocuted during the recent rains in the metropolis.