K-Electric Board approves Rs9.5bn for ‘rain risk mitigation plan’

KARACHI: Following the recent rains in Karachi, the K-Electric Board of Directors (BoD) constituted a special committee to review the power utility’s performance during the rains, identify gaps, if any, and to chalk out a proposed risk mitigation plan.
The committee conducted a thorough investigation with support from the management and subsequently approved a plan for the improvement and further upgrade of the system before the next monsoon season.
“The BoD has, therefore, approved an additional investment of Rs9.5 billion for rain mitigation measures — over and above budgeted investment of Rs24.4 billion for the upgradation of infrastructure and advancement of the distribution network approved earlier,” said a statement issued by KE on Tuesday.

The board also approved engagement of an external consultant to review the project plan and further strengthen its execution.

The upgradation project would include raising of distribution equipment foundation levels in areas that remained waterlogged during the recent rains; waterproofing of identified substations; replacing of old equipment and main cables at key identified locations, and increasing the capacity to augment the dewatering efforts made by civic agencies.

“The city received unprecedented rainfall of 730mm during this monsoon and while KE was able to keep its system functioning, it is important that upgradations are made to improve the availability of power to citizens. To this end, the utility will carry out all necessary actions to ensure enhanced service,” said K-Electric CEO Moonis Abdullah Alvi.

The company is also making substantial investment in high loss area under its flagship Sarbulandi Project, which constitutes about 40pc of the city, to improve service delivery and safety of the residents. These investments will also ensure the deployment of theft resistant Ariel Bundled Cables (ABC) in these areas, which will improve the safety standards and will bring more people on the legal network.

According to the statement, the KE special committee recommended formal engagement with and cooperation from all concerned stakeholders for taking timely steps before the next monsoon season such as clearance of the intercity drainage systems and removal of encroachments to ensure that KE’s ability to provide power is not impaired during rain.

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