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November 12, 2019

KE terms electrocution deaths in monsoon rains ‘an act of God’


November 12, 2019

The electricity supply company in the city, K-Electric (KE), on Monday denied allegations of negligence which allegedly caused electrocution deaths of over 40 citizens during the last monsoon rains in the city, submitting that the alleged events were “an act of God and cannot be attributed to the standard or quality of service being provided by KE”.

Filing comments on a petition filed by Jamaat-e-Islami leader Hafiz Naeemur Rehman seeking the registration of an FIR against the KE management for the deaths of citizens who lost their lives due to electrocution during the monsoon rains in the city, the KE clarified that electricity poles and cables set up by it were compliant with the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) regulations and quality standards.

The petitioner had sought the constitution of an inquiry commission to probe the alleged negligence of the KE, which, he said, failed to maintain its installations and electricity poles in the monsoon rains resulting in more than 40 persons, including children, dying from electrocution in Karachi. He called for the issuance of an order for the payment of compensation to the legal heirs of the victims.

The KE mentioned that the controversy was being investigated by Nepra, and the KE had submitted all the requisite information to the regulator.

A KE official submitted that the KE fully adhered to its consumer service manual and created awareness amongst the general public through all modes of communication for the adoption of precautionary measures in order to ensure their safety.

He submitted that the KE does not hold any responsibility for clogged water/ponds as the same is due to a poor sewerage system and road infrastructure, which comes under the domain of civic agencies working in Karachi.

He further stated that the power utility had and continued to carry out operations for the removal of illegally installed electricity connections and had relentlessly implored the civic agencies to remove illegal street lights, cable television wires, etc., from its infrastructure.

The KE official submitted that the petition was not maintainable as the petitioner had failed to advance any cogent ground to specify any violation of their legal rights and the same was liable to be dismissed.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, after taking the comments on record, adjourned the hearing till December 5 for the rebuttal of the petitioner’s counsel’s arguments.

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