The National Electric and Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has imposed a fine on Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) due to non-compliance with Performance Standards, Distribution Licence and Distribution Code.
LESCO was fined Rs 4 million, whereas HESCO was handed a Rs 5 million fine.
The power regulator has issued a statement with reasons behind the fine. Some of the reasons mentioned in the statement are:
- Lack of proper voltage supply, with customers receiving even less than 180 V, thereby damaging their electrical appliances.
- Poor quality of power supply
- Failure to restore power supply in the prescribed time
- Heavy overloading of transformers
- No use of allocated funds
- Incorrect information provided to the power regulator regarding number of complaints, interruptions, and duration of interruptions
- Unscheduled and prolonged power outages of up to 16 hours
- Lack of capacity to bear the demand of the consumers
The Report and its Findings
On an inspection visit in July and August last year, a NEPRA team probed various grid stations of 11, 66 and 132 KV capacities operating under LESCO and HESCO. Similarly, a consumer survey was also conducted as well to ascertain the quality of services provided by LESCO and HESCO.
In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, the team also reported poor maintenance of distribution systems, and lack of timely action by the power distributors even though all the formalities were fulfilled by the consumers.
Even damaged transformers were not taken care of after days of complaints. This has led to serious power shortages in those areas, adding to the woes of the locals. HESCO, despite having funds, has failed to keep up with the pace of other distributors.
Legal action has been taken based on the report submitted by the survey team. Despite the IMF programme – aimed at introducing reforms – which was initiated 4 years ago, the power distributors have failed to resolve the issues regarding poor transmission and prolonged outages.