NEPRA fines KEL Rs50mn for not maintaining safety standards
ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Tuesday slapped the Karachi Electric Limited (KEL) with a hefty fine of Rs50 million for not maintaining safety standards, a few months after heavy rains in Karachi killed more than 15 people in a few days.
The authority issued a press release in which it stated that KEL had been fined Rs50 million. It also directed the electric supply company to “complete earthing and grounding of its distribution system by April 2020 and also carry out third party verification of its distribution system “.
NEPRA said that it got to know about the deaths of scores of people in Karachi on July 29-31 and August 10-12 when heavy rains lashed the city. The authority decided to conduct an investigation into the cause of the deaths of so many people.
“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.