Islamabad    -   National Electric Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has held K Electric (KE) responsible for 19 out of 35 electrocution cases and breakdown of power supply in Karachi.

As per the NEPRA spokesman the power regulator constituted an Investigation Committee under Section 27A of NEPRA Act 1997 which has submitted its investigation report to the Authority regarding loss of human lives due to electric shocks and suspension of power supply for prolonged duration during heavy rains in Karachi on 29th to 31 July and 10th to 12th August 2019.

According to the investigation Committee report, KE has been held responsible for 19 out of 35 electrocution cases and breakdown of power supply for longer duration.

The NEPRA Authority has decided to initiate legal proceedings against K-Electric under relevant provisions of NEPRA Act 1997. In this regard, show cause notice has been issued to K-Electric for the above charges.

Meanwhile a spokesman of K-Electric said that the company is responsible, law-abiding organisation and will submit its response to the authority in stipulated time. KE is deeply saddened by the tragic incidents which occurred during the recent torrential rains and sympathises with the affected families.

It is however important to mention that many of these unfortunate incidents occurred inside homes due to faulty wiring, unsafe use of electrical appliances or because of kundas and the unwarranted placement of cable TV and Internet cables on electricity poles, a fact which is also substantiated by the NEPRA’s initial findings as well.

The spokesperson said that the power utility is resolved to undertake required remedial measures in light of NEPRA’s investigation results, report of which is yet to be received from NEPRA.

The spokesman said that the power utility continues to highlight that external challenges such as standing water, encroachments around electricity infrastructure, and theft of grounding wires, not only damage KE’s infrastructure but also jeopardise the integrity of the electricity system and bypass laid down electrical safety mechanisms thus creating public safety hazards.

All these external factors, which come under the purview of different civic bodies in Karachi, have a significant effect on the power utility’s ability to ensure provision of safe and reliable electricity to its customers.

The power utility is committed to safety and as per NEPRA’s last State of Industry Report issued for 2018,KE has the third lowest number of incidents.

During the recent rains however, several parts of the city were submerged creating an urban flooding situation and power supply to some of these areas was suspended on the request of district administration in the interest of public safety as water logging around power installations in low-lying areas not only damages utility infrastructure but it also hampers restoration efforts and causes fatal accidents.