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Unauthorized civil works compromise personal safety, KE infrastructure

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Zain Zubair
Zain Zubair is a staff writer for World News Observer. He is studying ACCA in Pakistan. Besides Accountancy and writing pieces, he loves cooking and nature photography. Zain has attended various modern journalism workshops. Contact: [email protected]

KE Spokesperson on Thursday shared serious concerns over the dismal lack of safety protocols during civil works across the city, where laborers and excavators are digging roads in close proximity to KE’s underground infrastructure.

In the month of April alone, an alarming 26 incidents were reported across Karachi where unauthorized civil works were carried out resulting in damage to KE’s high voltage electricity lines.

These included the industrial zones of Korangi and Bin Qasim, as well as residential and commercial areas across Shahra-e-Faisal, Surjani, Baldia and Gulshan. Between 2021 and 2022, 818 cases involving pickaxes or damage due to excavation have been documented by KE.

Commenting on the gravity of the situation, Director Communications and Spokesperson K-Electric Imran Rana stated, “As a responsible corporate entity, KE extends its fullest cooperation to ensure the functionality of the city’s infrastructure.

These unfortunate incidents could have been easily prevented if proper protocols were followed and KE was intimated prior to the commencement of any civil work.

We strongly urge all civic agencies to cooperate with us, so that we can ensure the safety of the laborers engaged in civil work alongside maintaining the integrity of our network for continued supply of reliable and uninterrupted power.”

K-Electric’s distribution and transmission infrastructure span across a 6500 square kilometer territory bringing electricity to consumers via a network of high voltage and low voltage lines. Across the city, this infrastructure is installed after seeking due approvals from all concerned civic authorities and in compliance with the strictest safety standards.

KE and other utility companies are required to seek new permissions and approvals in case they want to relocate their network or conduct any maintenance work which requires digging.

Similarly, any entity or individual conducting civil works is required to inform KE so that they can supervise the activity and preemptively inform residents in case any disruption to the electricity supply is expected.

Unfortunately, daily-wage laborers are often commissioned on informal contracts and asked to begin working without any proper protocols in place. This risks damage to KE’s underground lines which are carrying live currents and can also result in injury or fatality for the workers. In severe cases, the supply of power to the area is also suspended as a result of the damage.

Entities and individuals intending to conduct civil works are required to submit complete details of their scope of work and intended date of execution to KE’s Customer Care Center serving the area for onwards processing.

Furthermore, the complete details can be shared via email at [email protected] which will route the query to the relevant teams for further action.

KE is committed to the provision of safe, secure, reliable, and uninterrupted power to the bustling city of Karachi.

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