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Friday, May 24, 2024

K-Electric responsible for 19 out of 35 deaths: Fined Rs.50 Million

K-Electric has been held responsible by NEPRA's probe for 19 out of 35 deaths that occurred during the monsoon spell in Karachi The power distributor has been fined with Rs.50 million.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has imposed a fine worth Rs.50 million on Karachi Electric Limited (KE), holding it responsible for the deaths of 19 individuals, who lost their lives after being electrocuted during the heavy monsoon spell that gripped the metropolis during the summer.

The national regulatory body discovered that the 19 deaths had occurred from electrocution “due to lack of earthing of LT/HT poles and leakage of current from the distribution facilities of KE.”

KE Fails to Maintain Safety

A press release issued by NEPRA said that Karachi Electric has failed to fulfill its “statutory obligation to maintain safety standards”, and it has also violated the terms and conditions of its license, alongside violating the laws devised by NEPRA.

K-Electric will now have to pay a fine worth Rs.50 million, and it has also been ordered to undertake “complete earthing and grounding of its distribution network by April 2020 and carry out third-party verification of its distribution system”.

The Karachi power distributor has also been directed to conduct an internal inquiry, and “fix the responsibility on its employees/management”. NEPRA must be provided the final report of the inquiry. The press release also added that the regulatory body has also considered KEL’s proposition to offer compensation money to the families of the deceased.

NEPRA directed that K-Electric must share the details of the compensation money to be given to the victims’ families with the regulatory authority at the earliest. The order issued by NEPRA stated, “Design of distribution network of KEL does not meet the design requirements as laid down in the relevant Code and Manual. Moreover, KEL allowed telephone/TV/internet cable operators to use its distribution network in a hazardous manner for their purposes.

Read more: K-Electric is responsible for 19 deaths in Karachi, NEPRA

“Further, KEL failed to report fatalities immediately after occurrence to the Authority in a prescribed manner and also failed to restore the supply of electricity within the prescribed time limits.”

The press release announced NEPRA’s decisions after an inquiry into the deaths of multiple citizens of Karachi, who died during the heavy monsoon spell that gripped the metropolis during July and August this year. In August, NEPRA had initiated an inquiry against K-Electric, and in September, the inquiry had concluded that the power distributor was responsible for 19 out of 35 deaths.

NEPRA served a show-cause notice to K-Electric, and the power distributor has been directed to submit a response, and conduct an internal inquiry into the matter.