NEPRA to probe Saturday power blackout

The Natio­nal Electric Power Regula­tory Authority (NEPRA) will constitute a high-powered committee to look into the 14-hour blackout from Saturday.

The fact-finding committee will comprise the power regulator’s top professionals and renowned protection engineers from the private sector, and will be required to give recommendations to avoid such incidents in future.

During the 14-hour blackout, the regulator received reports of 26 deaths due to electrocution, out of which, 14 deaths were due to negligence by the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO).

NEPRA received these after it had constituted a two-member investigation committee under Section 27A of the Nepra Act 1997 to visit the relevant areas.

As such, NEPRA has imposed a Rs13 million fine on PESCO after having determined that PESCO had failed to discharge its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as laid down in the relevant code and manual.

Moreover, Pesco also failed to report fatalities immediately to Nepra in a prescribed manner as envisaged under Nepra Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules, 2005.

While the government itself has not ordered an investigation into the incident, the National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) has also constituted its own four-member committee to look into the reasons behind the blackout. NTDC General Manager (GM) North Malik Javed Mehmood would convener of the committee, while GM (Technical) Ghulam Abbas Memon, Chief Engineer (CE) (PO&C) Atif Mujeeb Usmani and CE (Network) would work as members.

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