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August 17, 2019

Two more FIRs registered against K-Electric over electrocution deaths


August 17, 2019

Police registered two more cases on Fridya against the K-Electric (KE), the utility that supplies electricity to Karachi, over electrocution deaths during the recent monsoon rains n the city.

Over two dozen people fell victim to electrocution during the two spells of monsoon rains that battered the metropolis recently. A case was registered against the K-Electric management by the family of a man who died of electrocution in the Lyari neihgbourhood.

The 35-year-old man, identified as Omair, son of Ilyas, died of electrocution near his residence in the Baghdadi area of Lyari on August 11 during the second spell of monsoon rains. He had died on a spot, and his body was taken to the Civil Hospital Karachi.

On Friday, the Baghdadi police registered an FIR (No. 234/19) under sections 322/268/34 on behalf of the victim’s brother, Amin, against the K-Electric management. Police booked the KE management in yet another case over the death of a minor boy who died of electrocution during rain on July 29 in Karachi.

The FIR (No. 487/19) was registered under Section 322 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the SITE Superhighway police station. According to SHO Chaudhry Aslam, a 10-year-old boy, Zakir, died of electrocution on July 29 near his house located in Wazir Goth. He added that a case was registered on behalf of the boy’s father, Ghulam Abbas, against the administration of the power utility.

A few days ago, a case had been registered against the power utility’s high-ups over an electrocution death in the city. The FIR (No 348/19) was lodged under sections 322 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code was against KE officials, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moonis Alvi and Baldia Town General Manager Zarrar Mushtaq.

Police officials said a citizen, Abdur Rehman, who was a resident of Sector A-8 in Baldia Town within the limits of the Saeedabad police station, was electrocuted to death near his residence on Monday, August 12.

The case was registered on behalf of the victim’s brother-in-law, Javed, who in his statement to the police said that electricity wires near the victim’s house had fallen during the rain after which residents of the area complained to the KE about it but no official of the power utility responded to the complaint.

He told the police that Abdur Rehman was electrocuted to death when he was opening the door of his house. The first case of the month was registered at the Paposh Nagar police station by the family of a man who had died of electrocution outside his residence.

On Monday night, an FIR was registered against the KE top management over the electrocution of three friends in the Defence area during rain. The case was lodged by the father of one of the three deceased youths at the Darakhshan police station against the KE for its alleged negligence which caused the deaths.

The victims were friends and identified as 28-year-old Talha Tanvir, 25-year-old Faizan Saleem and 20-year-old Hamza Tariq Butt. Hailing from Gujrat, all three lived together in a residential apartment in Defence and the tragedy occurred while they were going on a motorcycle to register a complaint with the KE over a power outage in the area.

KE grieved over incidents

The K-Electric said in statement that it “is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incidents which occurred during the recent torrential rain and sympathises with the affected families”.

“KE is extending full cooperation in the investigation process with various stakeholders including NEPRA. The power utility reiterates that it remains committed to Karachi and will undertake required remedial measures in light of the investigation results. At the same time, KE will also be undertaking a network wide study to identify opportunities for infrastructure improvement so as to strengthen both reliability and safety of power supply.”

The statement further said: “While KE is assessing all electrocution incidents, as per initial reports, majority of the incidents either occurred inside homes through broken wires and internal equipment or due to non-KE infrastructure such as kundas and hanging lights. In such cases where KE’s infrastructure and equipment is not involved, K-Electric is not responsible.

“Before the recent rain, the power utility took all precautionary measures including preventive maintenance, network-wide inspections of the power infrastructure and strengthened vigilance of on-ground teams. KE also promoted public safety awareness through campaigns on rain safety through TV, print and social media, SMS and has also been engaging with school/seminaries students and communities as well as announcements in mosques besides placement of safety banners across the city.”

The power utility said: “Additionally, an alert letter was also sent to the city administration, disaster management organizations and all concerned stakeholders by KE to dispense their responsibilities in the wake of projected heavy rains, which the deteriorating civic infrastructure of Karachi cannot sustain, with drainage issues and massive encroachments.”

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