Gepco slapped Rs21m fine on 8 deaths due to negligence

power sector - Gepco slapped Rs21m fine on 8 deaths due to negligence

ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has imposed a fine of Rs21 million on Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) on the charges of negligence, resulting in fatal incidents during the period from July 2019 to May 2021.

Nepra upon receipt of reports of 13 deaths in different electrocution incidents during the aforementioned period, constituted a two-member investigation committee under the Section 27A of the Nepra Act 1997 to visit the relevant areas, conduct investigation and ascertain the facts and possible violations of the Nepra laws, rules and regulations.

The committee’s report revealed that eight of the total 13 fatalities occurred due to Gepco’s negligence. These fatalities included one Gepco employee and seven persons from the general public.

Therefore, the authority issued a show cause notice to Gepco on September 2, 2021 under Section 27B of the Nepra Act, 1997 and later provided an opportunity of hearing to Gepco on October 13, 2021.

Based on the evidence available on record, the submissions of Gepco and relevant provisions of the laws, rules and regulations; the authority concluded that Gepco has failed to discharge its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as laid down in the relevant laws, code and manual.

The authority has; therefore, imposed a fine of Rs21 million on Gepco. The authority has also noticed that Gepco has given compensation of Rs4 million to the family of its employee who lost his life in these electrocution accidents; however, no compensation has been given to the families of the seven deceased persons from the general public.

The authority has, therefore, directed Gepco to compensate the families of the deceased from the general public equal to the amount given to the family of the deceased employee (Rs4 million) and the documentary evidence of the same would be shared with the authority. Nepra has also directed Gepco to provide a job to the next of kin of each of the deceased family.

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