KARACHI           -       The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Tuesday said it has taken “serious notice” of the deaths caused by electrocution during heavy rains in Karachi over the last few weeks.

At least 12 people lost their lives due to electrocution over the past month as monsoon rains lashed Karachi, wreaking havoc on the city›s municipal and power infrastructure.

“In order to ascertain the real causes behind these incidents and to fix responsibility”, Nepra has created a dedicated email address to receive evidence from the general public and affected persons, a press release issued by the authority said.

Nepra invited residents of Karachi to report electrocution cases “along with evidences” by sending an email to keelectrocution@nepra.org.pk “at the earliest”.

The development comes a day after three people died of electrocution in separate incidents as moderate to heavy rain continued to batter the metropolis. Another three people were electrocuted in the city on Sunday. Trend continues from last year Nepra had last year formally held the K-Electric (KE) responsible for 19 deaths from electrocution in Karachi and started legal proceedings against it. According to the investigation committee›s report, KE was held responsible not only for the 19 deaths due to electrocution during rains but also for power breakdowns of long durations.

The investigation committee, which was constituted by Nepra in August 2019 under Section 27-A of the Nepra Act, 1997, had submitted its report in September after detailed field visits and examination of power installations where the fatalities had been reported.

“When we conducted a probe last year and found flaws in the system, the KE was asked to fix all those issues. As per a compliance report of the company, they have fixed some 90 per cent of the electricity poles and the rest 10 per cent would be done by July 31. So one can’t guarantee what would happen or not but obviously if any wrong is found again, Nepra would move in line with defined rules,” a spokesperson for the power watchdog had told Dawn earlier this month.

KE had already come under fire recently over frequent unannounced power outages in Karachi. After a public hearing on the issue, Nepra had formed a committee to visit Karachi and probe complaints of «excessive» load-shedding by the power utility.

In the light of findings of the investigation committee, the authority had last week issued a show-cause notice to KE.