Nepra issues notice to KE over power outages

KE is also accused of practicing discrimination between consumers


Zahid Gishkori July 24, 2015
MA Jinnah Road is plunged into darkness due to the technical fault in two units of Bin Qasim Power plant on July 7, 2015. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday issued a show-cause notice to K-Electric (KE) for constantly failing to fulfill its service obligations.

According to the notice issued under sections 28 and 29 of the Nepra Act, KE has not only failed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to consumers but also failed to “dispatch power from its own plants and the IPPs causing a reduction and deliberate under-utilisation of the available generation capacity at various times.”

Read: Half of Karachi plunges into darkness

While accusing the service provider of practicing discrimination between its consumer and group of consumers, the power regulatory authority has asked KE to respond to the notice within 15 days.

Nepra alleged that by operating its generation facilities without cushion or back up against prudent utility practices, the KE had put its customers at the risk of non-provision of electricity in the event of any fault. It has also failed to restore supply of power to the affected consumers in case of unscheduled breakdown within the specified time limit, said Nepra.

The power regulatory authority, KE, has also accused of providing misleading and incorrect information instead of vital information required by the authority.

Read: NEPRA blasts K-Electric over power outages

Earlier, a fact finding commission had accused that the sole power distributor in Karachi had not made adequate investments in its transmission and distribution systems, seriously affecting service quality, reliability and supply to the consumers.

The recent heatwave, however, exposed the inefficient system of the only private electricity provider in Pakistan when temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Centigrade crashed the power network causing hours-long outages in almost all areas of Karachi.

Read: Karachi heatwave death toll crosses 1,200

More than 1,200 people died during the heatwave and experts attributed the deaths to unprecedented weather pattern coupled with prolonged power outages. The federal government has also told the Supreme Court that KE had been intentionally and consistently under-utilising its plants and relying on energy from the national grid despite having sufficient capacity. The centre also claimed to have doled out Rs269.5 billion in subsidies to the KE, which has failed to meet the energy demands of the country’s largest city.

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