Internet and TV cables installed on electricity poles are dangerous;
KE determined to take action for public safety
K-Electric is deeply saddened by the tragic incidents which occurred during the recent torrential rain and sympathizes with the affected families. KE is assessing all electrocution incidents that occurred during the recent rain spells and extending full cooperation in the investigation process with various stakeholders including NEPRA. As per initial findings of incident investigations, majority of the incidents either occurred inside homes or due to non-KE infrastructure such as kundas and hanging lights etc., which are beyond the control of KE.
Preliminary investigation findings indicate that internet and TV cables as well as the signal boosting devices illegally installed on electricity pole were the underlying cause of the unfortunate incident that occurred in DHA. As a safety measure KE had suspended power supply to several submerged parts of DHA and power supply to the incident site was suspended as soon as KE was contacted. Here it is critical to mention that per various studies; a large portion of Karachi is unplanned and includes encroachments in different areas which are often also infested with kundas. KE identifies encroachments around power infrastructure across its network to concerned authorities for immediate action and issues notices, as these create a dangerous and unsafe situation by compromising the safety protocols and procedures of these structures. Further, KE removes thousands of kundas and illegal wiring besides serving warnings through mass awareness campaigns and public/legal notices where applicable, however reemergence of such wires and kundas remains a critical social challenge and can only be resolved through support of all stakeholders. All these external factors, which come under the purview of different civil service entities in Karachi, have a significant effect on the power utility’s ability to ensure provision of safe and reliable electricity to its customers. It is extremely unfair that some quarters have without any substance started blaming one particular organization for these unfortunate incidents which have mainly happened inside house or due to non-KE network and occurred during urban flooding in Karachi which the weak civic infrastructure was unable to handle. As per NEPRA’s last State of Industry Report issued for 2018, KE has the third lowest number of incidents. KE has been engaging with all concerned stakeholders for some time so that they recognize their due role to provide an enabling environment for the power utility to operate by enforcing basic urban development protocols in a planned manner across the city and again pleads with them to step up to eliminate the issue of encroachments, kundas, unwarranted use of KE’s infrastructure and waterlogging around power infrastructure during and after rain. KE remains committed to its goal of providing safe and reliable supply of power to its customers and look forward to work with all key stakeholders in achieving the same. The power utility will undertake required remedial measures in light of the investigation results. At the same time, KE has also initiated an exercise to identify opportunities for infrastructure improvement so as to strengthen both reliability and safety of power supply.