National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has fined K-Electric (KE) over allegations that the power utility has failed to provide electricity in its licensed areas as required during the summer of 2017. The power watchdog has therefore, imposed a Rs 5 million fine on the utility.
Following this decision, KE has announced that it will appeal against the decision on the relevant forum.
NEPRA issued a order today which declared that KE failed to supply electricity to the people of Karachi during the hot summer days in 2017. In its report, NEPRA states that its the failure of KE if it can’t provide reliable power supply to consumers of Karachi on a non-discriminatory basis. NEPRA will now be taking action against KE after more than a year.
According to NEPRA, the power utility not only failed to maintain the required standard, but it is also failed to comply with orders of the Sindh High Court.
Following are the important points mentioned in NEPRA’s order against KE:
- On prolonged hours of load shedding carried by K-Electric during the month of Ramadan in 2017, the Honorable Sindh High Court directed NEPRA to ensure compliance with NEPRA’s earlier order dated 25-03-2016 to provide electricity to all consumers on a non-discriminatory basis. The Authority constituted a committee to verify facts and implementation of the aforementioned order.
- The committee visited the generation, transmission and distribution facilities of K-Electric from June 01, 2017 to June 05, 2017, in order to monitor and verify load shedding in different areas of Karachi, current generation capacity of K-Electric and its utilization, as well as the number of interruptions/faults, and implementation of investment plans.
- The committee submitted a comprehensive report to the Authority which raised serious concerns on the performance of K-Electric. The Authority decided to initiate legal proceedings against K-Electric. An explanation followed by a Show Cause Notice was issued to K-Electric. Two opportunities of hearing were also provided, wherein, the representatives of K-Electric made their submissions. However they failed to provide any satisfactory response to the alleged violations.
- The Authority observed that different units of Bin Qasim Power Station-I tripped frequently during the month of May, 2017 owing to improper maintenance by K-Electric. In addition, a huge number of unplanned interruptions over a prolonged duration occurred due to K-Electric’s weak and fragile distribution network. All this cumulatively resulted in extended load shedding, ranging from 14 to 16 hours in Karachi during the month of May, 2017.
- In view of the above findings, the Authority has imposed a fine of Rs. 5 Million on K-Electric Limited due to non-compliance of Performance Standards, Distribution Code and direction of the Authority as given in the order dated 25.03.2016 regarding the provision of electricity to all consumers without any discrimination who meet the consumer eligibility criteria.
KE has decided to appeal the decision. A written statement issued by KE’s management states that K-Electric is a law-abiding and responsible organization which ensures compliance with all respective regulations and guidelines.
“Regarding the recent decision, the power utility will approach the regulatory authority for reconsideration,” KE’s spokesperson said.