Karachi : K-Electric is a responsible, law-abiding organization and will submit its response to the authority in stipulated time. KE is deeply saddened by the tragic incidents which occurred during the recent torrential rains and sympathizes with the affected families. It is however important to mention that many of these unfortunate incidents occurred inside homes due to faulty wiring, unsafe use of electrical appliances or because of kundas and the unwarranted placement of cable TV and Internet cables on electricity poles, a fact which is also substantiated by the NEPRA’s initial findings as well.
However, the power utility is resolved to undertake required remedial measures in light of NEPRA’s investigation results, report of which is yet to be received from NEPRA. KE regularly conducts exercise to identify opportunities for infrastructure improvement and to strengthen both reliability and safety of power supply. However, the power utility continues to highlight that external challenges such as standing water, encroachments around electricity infrastructure, and theft of grounding wires, not only damage KE’s infrastructure but also jeopardize the integrity of the electricity system and bypass laid down electrical safety mechanisms thus creating public safety hazards. All these external factors, which come under the purview of different civic bodies in Karachi, have a significant effect on the power utility’s ability to ensure provision of safe and reliable electricity to its customers.
The power utility is committed to safety and as per NEPRA’s last State of Industry Report issued for 2018, KE has the third lowest number of incidents. During the recent rains however, several parts of the city were submerged creating an urban flooding situation and power supply to some of these areas was suspended on the request of district administration in the interest of public safety as water logging around power installations in low-lying areas not only damages utility infrastructure but it also hampers restoration efforts and causes fatal accidents.
KE has repeatedly requested all concerned stakeholders and civic administration to recognize their due role in providing an enabling environment for the power utility to operate by enforcing basic urban development protocols in a planned manner across the city. The power utility again requests that they step up to eliminate encroachments, kundas, unwarranted use of KE’s infrastructure and water-logging around power infrastructure during and after rain. KE is committed to working together with these stakeholders in the absolute interest of public safety.
In its efforts to further minimize the risk to public there are multiple public safety protocols installed on the power infrastructure and in addition the project for installation of Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC) was initiated and so far over 7,500 PMTS have been equipped with ABC, which is a safer and more reliable way of conducting electricity and also reduces the incidence of power theft through the use of kundas – a major safety hazard as well as the leading cause of faults in the system. The power utility has invested more than PKR 41 billion over the last three years (FY 2017- FY19) in distribution infrastructure alone, which is PKR 15 billion more than NEPRA’s proposed expense in distribution during the same period.
Overall, KE has invested more than USD 2.1 billion in infrastructure upgrades across the energy value chain over the last nine years in Karachi. The power utility is also working on an investment plan of USD 3 billion over the next few years. This continuous stream of investment from KE reinforces its long-term commitment to serve the people of Karachi.