KARACHI: Karachi Electric (KE) is taking rigorous action against the illegal use of Monday’s Internet / TV wires, streetlight switches and “kundas,” a press release published here on Sunday.
It said: “In view of the potential hazard posed due to illegal use of KE’s infrastructure by Internet/TV cables, streetlight switches and “kundas”, as per initial findings of ongoing investigations, the power utility will be taking strict action against all such interferences from August 19, 2019 and has already issued a public notice in this regard.
“Non-KE wires on power distribution infrastructure such as kundas, streetlights, TV, telephone, or internet cables are a major safety hazard as they damage KE’s infrastructure and bypass safety protection mechanisms.
“The power utility also requests various municipalities to support its efforts in combating this public safety menace”.
KE said that the initial findings of incident investigations showed majority of the incidents either occurred inside homes or due to non-KE infrastructure such as kundas and hanging lights etc., which are beyond control of KE.
“KE is extending full cooperation in the investigation process with various stakeholders including NEPRA. The power utility reiterates that it remains committed to Karachi and will undertake required remedial measures in light of the investigation results. At the same time, KE will also be undertaking an exercise to identify opportunities for infrastructure improvement so as to strengthen both reliability and safety of power supply”, said the press release.
It further said that before the recent rain, the power utility promoted public safety awareness through campaigns on rain safety through TV, print and social media, SMS and has also been engaging with school/seminaries students and communities as well as announcements in mosques besides placement of safety banners across the city. Additionally, an alert letter was also sent to the city administration and all concerned stakeholders to ensure timely drainage of water since this was a key challenge for public safety and restoration efforts.
“However during the recent rains various areas of the city have been submerged creating an urban flooding situation; to the extent that power supply to some of these areas was suspended on the request of district administration in the interest of public safety as water entered homes.”
It also said that 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 also come under the purview of different civic 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”, it added.
“It is important to note that KE has one of the lowest incident ratios amongst DISCOs operating in Pakistan and as per NEPRA’s last State of Industry Report issued for 2018, KE has the third lowest number of incidents. KE for long has been engaging with all concerned stakeholders 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 to them to step up to eliminate the issue of encroachments, kundas, unwarranted use of KE’s infrastructure and water-logging around power infrastructure during and after rain”, it further said.