At least 774 people have died in the last five years due to electrocution in the jurisdiction of state-owned power distribution companies, revealed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority’s (NEPRA) State of Industry Report 2019.
According to available statistics, the most dangerous city with regards to the threat of electrocution was Lahore, which is powered by the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) with 107 deaths over the last five years.
The second most dangerous city on the list is Sukkur, which is powered by the Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) with 100 casualties as a result of electrocution.
The number of electrocution related incidents in the service area of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) made it joint-third on the list with 98 deaths.
The most surprising revelation of these statistics was the fact that Islamabad Electric Supply Company, which has one of the best electricity infrastructures in the country, was joint third on the list of most at-risk cities with 98 casualties over the past five years.
The other DISCOs on the list are MEPCO with 95 deaths over the last five years, GEPCO (84), FESCO (74), HESCO (76) and QESCO 42 deaths, with data for 2019 not available for Quetta.
A significant number of these fatalities are children.
The state of the power infrastructure has deteriorated to such an extent that even skilled DISCO professionals, trained to work with electrical installations, have succumbed to the lack of required safety measures installed on electricity infrastructure. Despite a safety code issued by NEPRA and regularly applied penalties for non-compliance, there is no evidence of consistent improvement in safety performance with fatalities declining in a few years only to increase subsequently.
This suggests that the current reactive cycle of deaths followed by hearings and penalties is ineffective and implies a failure in regulation on the part of NEPRA – more must be done to understand and address the underlying causes of electrocutions which often go beyond utility infrastructure to include urban development failures, power theft and poor law enforcement.
You can read the full report here.