ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has imposed a fine of Rs 28 million on Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) on charges of negligence resulting in fatal incidents during the period July, 2019 to November, 2020.
Upon receipt of reports of 20 deaths due to different electrocution incidents during July, 2019 to November 2020 period, the regulator constituted a three-member Investigation Committee under Section 27A of NEPRA Act 1997 to visit the relevant areas, conduct investigation and ascertain the facts and possible violations of NEPRA Laws, Rules and Regulations.
The Investigation Committee's report revealed that 11 out of the total 20 fatalities occurred due to SEPCO's negligence. These victims include four SEPCO employees and seven persons from the general public.
After initial investigation, the Authority issued a Show Cause notice to SEPCO under Section 27B of the NEPRA Act, 1997 and later provided an opportunity of hearing to the Disco.
Based on the evidence available on record, submissions of SEPCO and relevant provisions of the laws, rules and regulations the Authority concluded that SEPCO has failed to discharge its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as laid down in the relevant Code and Manual. Further, SEPCO failed to report these fatalities to the Authority in a prescribed manner as envisaged under NEPRA Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules, 2005.
The Authority therefore, imposed a fine of Rs 28 million on SEPCO. The Authority also noted that SEPCO gave compensation of Rs 3.5 million each to the families of its employees who lost their lives in these electrocution accidents however no compensation has been given to the families of seven deceased persons from the general public. The Authority has therefore, directed SEPCO to compensate the families of the deceased from the general public equal to the amount given to its deceased employees' families (Rs 3.5 million each) and that documentary evidence of the same be shared with the Authority.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021