ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday imposed a Rs65 million fine on Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) for negligence, leading to fatal incidents from July 2019 to June 2021.

In an announcement, the regulator said it had taken notice of reports of 39 deaths in different electrocution incidents during the two-year period and constituted a two-member Investigation Committee under Section 27A of the Nepra Act 1997 to visit the respective areas, conduct investigations, ascertain and determine the facts and possible violations of Nepra Laws, Rules and Regulations.

After a thorough process, the investigation committee’s report revealed that 25 out of a total of 39 fatalities occurred due to Iesco’s negligence.

These fatalities included 10 Iesco employees and 15 members of the general public.

In light of the report, the Nepra issued a show-cause notice to Iesco on Nov 16, 2021 under Section 27B of the Act and later provided an opportunity of hearing to the company’s management on Feb 3.

Based on the evidence available on record, submissions of the company and relevant provisions of the laws, rules and regulations; the regulator observed that Iesco had failed to discharge its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as laid down in the relevant laws, codes and manual.

Therefore, it imposed a fine of Rs65m on the company.

The regulator also observed that the company had awarded compensation to the tune of Rs3.5m each to the families of its employees who lost their lives in these electrocution accidents.

However, compensation of Rs750,000 had been awarded to some of the families of deceased general public but not all of the 15 victims.

The regulator, therefore, directed Iesco to compensate all the families of the deceased from the general public (15 persons) the same amount given to families of the deceased employees (Rs3.5m each) and documentary evidence in this behalf be shared with the regulator.

The regulator also instructed the company to ensure jobs for dependents of each of the deceased families.

Interestingly, the fine payable by Iesco will ultimately become part of its expenses and the consumer tariff.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2022

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