The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has held the K-Electric, the sole power utility in Karachi, responsible for 19 out of 35 deaths due to electrocution during monsoon rains in the megapolis, it said in a statement Friday.
The investigation committee, constituted under Section 27A of the NEPRA Act 1997, submitted its investigation report regarding the loss of human lives and prolonged suspension of power supply during heavy rains on July 29-31 and August 10-12.
The committee held the KE “responsible for 19 out of 35 electrocution cases”, the NEPRA statement said.
The regulator has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the K-Electric under relevant provisions of the NEPRA Act 1997. It said a show cause notice has already been issued to K-Electric in this regard.
Karachi has thrice been hit by heavy monsoon rains so far this year. The rains triggered urban flooding in the city, inundating several areas.
At least 35 people were electrocuted to death in the city during the first two spells in July and August.
The incidents drew a massive outrage from the masses, who demanded accountability of the power distribution company over its poor infrastructure despite charging the people heavily.
A four-member team of NEPRA had also visited Karachi in early August to investigate the crisis.
The incidents were followed by registration of multiple FIRs against the power utility.
‘Many of these incidents occurred inside homes’
In response to the NEPRA report, the K-Electric said it was a responsible, law-abiding organization and would 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 sympathizes with the affected families,” the power utility said in a statement.
“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 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.”
However, the power utility said it was resolved to undertake required remedial measures in the light of NEPRA’s investigation results, report of which is yet to be received from NEPRA.