Islamabad, June 26, 2013 (PPI-OT): The USAID Power Distribution Program and the Pakistan Engineering Council have embarked on the development of National Electric Safety Code (NESC), along with major stakeholders in the energy sector. This was announced in a workshop held in Islamabad, attended by experts from both the private and public sector including prominent safety experts from across the country.
While addressing participants, Senior Advisor Engineering for USAID Power Distribution Program Dick Dumford praised the initiative of the NESC. ”NESC will go a long way in reducing the number of casualties as well as serious injuries that in the past could not be avoided due to an absence of a comprehensive safety code,” he said. Mr. Dumford further added that 2012 alone witnessed over 200 casualties while an equally high number of serious disabilities were also recorded.
“Such a high accident rate suggests not only are our linemen and technical field staff at very high risk, but infrastructure and the public at large are also indirectly at risk,” Robert Kolling, Senior Distribution Adviser of the USAID Power Distribution Program said on the occasion.
“In order to curtail the losses of infrastructure and human lives including employees and general public, a National Electric Safety Code (NESC) is to be developed, which would be applicable to power sector, communication companies, operation and maintenance companies, and their relevant contractors and manufacturers.
“The Chairman of the Pakistan Engineering Council Syed Abdul Qadir Shah Remarked. He also praised the efforts of the USAID Power Distribution Program in helping build capacity of government-owned power distribution companies (DISCOs) and identifying issues of national significance, such as safety codes that still remain elusive despite the intervening years.
He showed optimism that the safety code would soon be completed with the help of experts and the biggest challenge would lie in its implementation, which would start reducing the number of casualties with immediate effect.
The five-year USAID Power Distribution Program was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 as one of the U.S. efforts to support Pakistan’s energy system. Through this program, the U.S. Government provides assistance to the Government of Pakistan in its efforts to reform the power sector to mitigate the current energy crisis.
The program is helping DISCOs improve their performance through a reduction in losses, increased revenues, and enhanced customer services. More information can be solicited from the USAID Power Distribution Program website at http://pdip.pk.
For more information, Contact:
Zia Ur Rehman
USAID Power Distribution Program
Tel: +92 51 2270911-916 Ext (106)
Fax: +92 51 8312997
Mobile: +92-334 513 0 950