NEPRA takes legal action against K-E over boy losing limbs

SHC resumes hearing of bail applications by seven K-E workers today


Zaffar Bhutta September 18, 2018
PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD : The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has initiated legal proceedings against K-Electric on failure to maintain its distribution network which caused the amputation of both arms of an eight year old boy, Muhammad Umer.

A high tension wire fell on Umer’s left arm in Ahsanabad, a town adjacent to Gulshan-e-Maymar on the outskirts of Karachi on August 24, 2018. The high voltage quickly gripped his body and caused severe burns on both arms as the boy tried to remove the wire with his other hand. The boy was then rushed to a hospital where he underwent a long surgery, resulting in amputation of his both arms.

The authority took immediate action on poor maintenance of network and safety measures by the K-E especially with respect to fragile 11kV feeders and directed the power supply company to submit a detailed report of the accident according to its performance standards along with causes and reasons of such accidents immediately.

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However, the K-E failed to submit the report, following which NEPRA decided to initiate legal proceedings and issued a notice to K-Electric for failure to comply with safety standards under NEPRA laws and to provide required information to its regulator.

Earlier, a K-E delegation appeared in a session called by the Senate Committee for Human Rights. The delegation apprised the committee of their deepest sympathies with Umar and his family and confirmed that the power utility on various occasions had reiterated its willingness to extend support for medical and educational expense along with further treatment such as prosthetics.

The K-E claimed that it did not receive any positive response from the affected family while the committee expressed its satisfaction on the offer extended by the K-E to the affected family. The K-E also informed the committee that the incident took place in a kunda-infested area and highlighted that illegal kunds or hook connections and encroachments around power infrastructures pose a severe public safety hazard.

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The K-E delegation said the company had always raised its voice against such hazards to relevant authorities and also identified illegal encroachments around power infrastructure across its network for immediate action.

Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court (SHC) has adjourned till Tuesday the hearing of bail applications filed by seven K-E workers arrested over negligence in the case.

On Monday, Justice Azhar Rizvi held hearing of the applications. Barrister Haider Imam Rizvi, the President of Karachi Bar Association, submitted an affidavit to represent the plaintiff. He maintained that the plaintiff was on a visit to Islamabad after being called by a Senate committee and requested the court to grant one week for taking instructions.

On the other side, K-E’s counsel maintained the power supply company was ready to bear the cost of medical treatment of the child and those arrested as suspects had no connection with the incident.

Hearing continues today (Tuesday).

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