Nepra issues show-cause notice to KE over repeated violations

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Friday issued a show-cause notice to K-Electric (KE), Karachi's chief power distributor, over repeated violations of its privatisation agreement and licence conditions.

DawnNews reported that the show-cause notice was issued after the findings of a report issued by Nepra's five-member fact-finding committee held KE responsible for failing to supply uninterrupted electricity to its consumers.

According to the show-cause notice, KE deliberately generated less electricity than what was required, resulting in a power crisis.

Also read: Nepra accuses K-Electric of violating agreement, decides to issue show-cause notice

The report holds KE liable for hiding facts not only from Nepra, but also its fact-finding team.

In the show-case notice Nepra has asked KE to submit a response, while if the company fails to provide a satisfactory reply it is likely to face a fine and an administrator could be appointed for the takeover of the company.

KE faced the burnt when Karachi and some adjoining areas of Sindh and Balochistan plunged into darkness due to four power breakdowns in the span of one week during the month of Ramazan.

People in various localities faced hardships because of the widespread breakdown that caught them unaware, particularly at a time when Ramazan’s final days had begun and preparations for Eid were round the corner.

All power breakdowns, which occurred on July 8, 9, 11 and 12 respectively, coincided with the last Ashra (ten days) of Ramazan, during the nights of which Muslims offer special prayers in their homes and spend time in mosques.

A Nepra spokesperson earlier said the duration of loadshedding in Karachi during Ramazan had extended from 12 to 96 hours at a stretch, contrary to the utility’s claims of eight to 10 hours of loadshedding.

He said the KE management had refused to provide information and data to an inspection team of Nepra. Later the KE was directed by the regulator through written communications to cooperate with its fact-finding team and provide accurate data to it.

This time the KE provided the data but it was found to be inaccurate on verification and it was established beyond doubt that wrong reports had been given to the team.

The demand for electricity amounted to about 3,100MW this summer but the company’s maximum generation never went beyond 2,700MW and when it touched the mark, the distribution and transmission system started to collapse.

The regulator has found KE to have failed to utilise its full power generation capacity. Nepra said KE has deliberately been producing less electricity than its installed capacity.

'KE received no show-cause'

KE spokesman Usama Qureshi claimed the company did not receive any show-cause notice from Nepra.

The spokesman further said KE cooperated fully with Nepra's fact-finding team when it visited Karachi.

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