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Electrocution deaths: Nepra slaps Rs 50mn fine over K-Electric

KARACHI: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) has imposed an amount of Rs 50 million as fine upon K-Electric directing the power utility to ensure fully secured power distribution system by April 2020.

The power regulator has also directed the utility providing electricity to Karachi to ensure third party evaluation of its power distribution system.

Scores of people died by electrocution during rains in Karachi in months of July and August this year.

Moreover, power supply also suspended to several areas of the metropolis for long hours, NEPRA said in a statement.

An inquiry launched to find out reasons behind deaths of several people by electrocution during the rainy weather.

The probe also inquired into if the K-Electric violated the safety rules of the power regulatory authority.

The NEPRA had earlier in an in-house investigation on the deaths in Karachi due to electrocution had concluded findings and leveled blame of most deaths on K-Electric for not making pre-rain measures for the safety and security of the citizens as exposed high-tension wires became death warrants.

NEPRA concluded that 19 of the 35 deaths were indeed caused by the power utility responsible for lighting up the biggest city of Pakistan.

NEPRA authorities also announced to act upon the findings hence dragging K-Electric to court and penalising them under the laws of the organization formed in 1997.

K-Electric’s viewpoint

K-Electric, in a press statement, said it will submit a review with NEPRA.

“The power utility will review the report in detail and submit an appropriate reply. There are a number of primary and underlying external factors which compromise the integrity of the power infrastructure. These include illegal kundas, unauthorized use of power infrastructure by cable TV and internet service providers and standing water around electricity infrastructure. These factors bypass electrical safety mechanisms thus creating public safety hazards,” reads the statement issued by KE.

The statement adds that the power utility has written to Commissioner Karachi, Chairman PEMRA, requesting that necessary measures be taken before the next monsoons to  prevent water-logging and enable the power utility to provide the best service possible.

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