Tuesday Dec 10, 2019
ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Tuesday slapped a Rs50 million fine on the Karachi Electric Limited (KEL) and directed the company to complete earthing and grounding of its distribution system in Karachi by April 2020.
"Investigation revealed among other violations of terms and conditions of KEL’s license and NEPRA laws that 19 fatalities occurred due to lack of earthing of LT/HT poles and leakage of current from the distribution facilities of KEL. Therefore, the Authority decided to initiate legal proceedings against KEL and a Show Cause Notice was issued to KEL under Section 27B and Section 28 of the NEPRA Act, 1997. KEL was also given an opportunity of hearing. Based on the evidence available on the record, submissions of KEL and relevant provisions of the laws the Authority passed an order on 09-12-19," read the press release.
NEPRA said that KEL had failed to maintain safety standards and was not able to stop leakage of current from distribution facilities. It called on the KEL to have its distribution system verified by a third party and conduct an internal investigation and hold employees responsible.
"The Authority has also considered the submissions of KEL to give reasonable compensation to bereaved families in good faith and that details of such compensation paid to families of victims shall be shared with the Authority in due course of time. The Authority has required KEL to fulfil its commitments to provide compensation to bereaved families at the earliest and in this regard provide documentary evidence to the Authority," read the press release.
In September, heavy rains disrupted daily life in the city and left many thoroughfares flooded. The supply of electricity to key localities was also affected. More than 300 feeders of the KEL tripped resulting in the suspension in the supply of electricity to several areas of the city.
KEL said that it had decided to file a review petition against the authority's decision to slap a Rs50 million fine on it for its alleged failure to maintain safety standards.
In a press release, the electric supply organisation said that it was a responsible institution that provided electricity to consumers in a safe manner. The press release stated that KEL operated according to the set rules and regulations.
It said that the decision by NEPRA needed to take into account external factors such as illegal electric and TV cables.
In one of its tweets, KEL said that another external factor that needed to be considered was the presence of water around electric installations. It said that the water around these installations resulted in untoward incidents.
KEL said that it consistently reviews its system and takes steps to make it more secure.