Monday, May 29, 2023

Nepra fined Fesco Rs26 million for negligence

FESCO was fined Rs26 million by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) for acts of negligence that resulted in fatalities between July 2019 and January 2021. The fine was levied in response to charges of negligence that occurred between July 2019 and January 2021.

A two-member investigation committee was formed by the regulator under Section 27A of the Nepra Act 1997 after receiving reports of 17 deaths caused by electrocution in various incidents during the period under consideration. The committee was mandated to visit the affected areas and conduct an investigation in order to determine the facts as well as possible violations of Nepra laws, rules and regulations.

The report of the investigative committee indicated that 10 of the total 17 fatalities happened as a result of Fesco’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Eight Fesco personnel and two members of the general public were among those who died in the accident.

Consequently, on June 29, 2021, the authority issued a show-cause notice to Fesco pursuant to Section 27B of the Nepra Act, 1997 and later presented Fesco with an opportunity to be heard on September 15, 2021.

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The authority reached the conclusion that Fesco had failed to meet its statutory obligations to maintain safety standards as stipulated in the relevant laws, codes, and manuals, based on the evidence on file, Fesco’s representations, and the relevant sections of the laws, rules, and regulations.

As a result, the authorities has slapped a Rs26 million fine on Fesco as punishment. A further observation made by the authority is that while Fesco has provided compensation of Rs3.5 million to the families of its employees who died in these electrocution accidents, no compensation has been provided to the families of the two deceased persons who were members of the general public.

The authority has, as a result, directed Fesco to compensate the families of the deceased from the general public in an amount equal to the amount given to the families of its deceased employees (Rs3.5 million each), and the authority has been informed that the documentation proving this will be shared with the authority.

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