Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Risky electricity lines cause death

 

Many faulty power lines, called non-standard lines in the district, have been strung across crop fields on bamboo poles and trees by the district Power Development Board (PDB).

These lines have caused many deaths as live wires sometimes snap and fall to the ground, electrocuting passersby who come in contact with those.

Farmer Bachchu Miah of Tironcho village in Basail upazila died when he came in contact with a snapped electric wire while working in his crop field on June 1, said Basail Police Station Officer-in-Charge Anisur Rahman.

About two weeks ago, Amzad Hossain of Kachuti village in Kalihati upazila, died when he came in touch with a live electric wire in his paddy field, said Sohel Rana, a rights activist in the upazila.

On March 28, Fuljan Begum of Alu Pakutia village under Digor union in Ghatail upazila, died when she came in contact with a live electric wire that had been lying on her paddy field for three days after a storm snapped it, said Mehedi Hasan Manju, brother-in-law of the woman.

The body of the housewife was later buried under pressure of the local influential people without informing the police about the incident, he said.

A syndicate of brokers of the village realised Tk 7 lakh from 284 villagers — Tk 2,700 for each house and Tk 7,000 for each irrigation pump — for installing electricity lines in the village through a contractor of PDB a few months ago, he said.

Denying realising money from the villagers through brokers, Ruhul Amin, a contractor of district PDB, said the line he built was a standard line, adding that it was strung on concrete poles and other equipment were properly fitted.

District Bidyut Grahok Kalyan Committee Member Secretary Akibur Rahman Ikbal said it is really a serious matter that such faulty and risky power lines are spread across the district like death traps for people.

“We will raise the matter at the next district law and order and development coordination meeting for finding a solution to the problem,” he added.   

District PDB Executive Engineer Anwarul Islam said subscribers of non-standard lines have to pay more because of the system loss.   

“PDB has to build non-standard lines in the face of huge demand by the people as well as influential quarters, and also because power is needed for irrigation,” he said.

The engineer requested this correspondent to talk with his senior officials for getting more information about the matter.

Asked about the deaths caused by the risky power lines, Kalihati Executive Engineer Sheikh Firoz Alam, also acting superintending engineer of district PDB, told this correspondent to tell the family members of the victims to go to the court in this regard.

This correspondent later phoned the engineer to know how much material (wires, poles and other items) was allocated in last fiscal year for renovation works in the district, and how much work was done, but he did not receive the call.

https://www.thedailystar.net/country/risky-electricity-lines-cause-death-1590688