The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has imposed a fine of Rs. 31 million on Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) for negligence that resulted in various electrocution accidents during July 2019 and October 2020.
After receiving reports of 15 deaths in electrocution incidents, NEPRA constituted a three-member investigation committee under Section 27A of NEPRA Act 1997, tasking it to visit the areas identified, conduct investigations, and ascertain the facts involving possible violations of NEPRA laws, rules, and regulations. According to the investigation, 12 out of the total 15 fatalities occurred due to HESCO’s negligence. These fatalities included five HESCO employees and seven individuals from the general public.
Following the report, NEPRA issued a show-cause notice to HESCO under Section 27B of the NEPRA Act 1997 and, later gave HESCO the chance to explain itself. Based on the evidence available on record, the submissions of HESCO, and the relevant provisions of the laws, rules, and regulations, the authority concluded that HESCO failed to discharge its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as laid down in the relevant laws, code and manual.
Furthermore, NEPRA inferred that HESCO failed to report these fatalities to the authority in a prescribed manner as envisaged under NEPRA Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules 2005.
The authority, therefore, imposed a fine of Rs. 31 million on HESCO. It also noted that HESCO provided a compensation of Rs. 3.5 million each to the families of its employees who lost their lives in these electrocutions, however, it did not provide compensation to the families of the seven other deceased. The authority directed HESCO to compensate families of the deceased from the general public equal to the amount given to families of its late employees. In addition, NEPRA directed HESCO to also share documentary evidence of the provision of compensation to the latter with the authority.