ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) stated the DISCOs are required to take responsibility for fatal incidents on account of earthing in their area and should complete old or new earthing within three months.
The chairman of the authority, during a public hearing on the failure of DISCOs to execute earthing/grounding in HT/LT poles structure in their territory, stated that SDO and CEO would certify that they would be responsible for fatal incidents in its areas because of earthing and would also certify whether earthing is old or new and it would be completed within three months.
The authority expressed dissatisfaction over DISCOs’ response with regard to the issue of earthing leading to fatal incidents in spite of the fact that provision of earthing was collected from consumers through demand notices.
The authority deplored that even in the recent cases there were deaths. The hearing was held of LESCO, PESCO, FESCO and TESCO on Thursday.
The regional representatives of the NEPRA informed the authority that the DISCOs’ response was not satisfactory, as some of them did not submit their plans, others did not submit details of structure, whereas, some of them did not provide estimates and payments’ details.
The hearing was informed that the authority has directed its regional offices to check randomly their earthing position and it was discovered in the random checking, that either earthing was or was not working properly.
After seeing all this, the authority decided to initiate legal action against these DISCOs and an explanation was sought from them.
Following the last hearing of KEPCO and MEPCO, the authority had decided to hold a public hearing because this issue of fatal incidents because of earthing was also being taken up in the standing committees of the parliament.
After the hearing was informed that the DISCOs have submitted a five-year plan, the chairman of the authority noted that how can casualties be allowed for the next three to five years because of earthing.
The hearing was told that the provision of the earthing is paid for by the consumers. Upon this, the authority wanted to know how much money was collected by the DISCO for earthing from the consumers and where it was spent.
Additionally, he also wanted to know whether any action was taken by the LESCO against the officials following three incidents with two of them in defense because of earthing. The CEO LESCO said that action was taken against the officials and they were suspended. He further said as per revised plan it would be required three-year time to complete the earthing.
The NEPRA regional officials also shared findings of the surveys and stated that these showed that earthing in some areas was visible while in some areas it was not visible. The PESCO response to the steel structure was that it would be completed by January 2024.The PESCO was imposed Rs0.5 million fine by the authority for the absence of the CEO from the hearing.
On the issue of FESCO, the regional officials of the NEPRA shared their finding that the steel structure is without proper grounding. The FESCO high-ups informed the authority it would complete the earthing by the end of December this year. The hearing was informed that TESCO did not submit even a response to the explanation.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023