Exposed overhead power supply lines and transformers installed near homes in the capital and elsewhere in the country pose serious threat to public life.
As a result, an unspecified number of people get electrocuted each month.
Many people lost their lives in the congested old part of the capital after accidentally touching live electricity lines from their balconies or windows.
The live power supply lines crisscross the congested old town’s narrow lanes and by-lanes.
Instances of children getting electrocuted while playing are not rare, said people living in the old town.
One of them, 13-year old Houmer Alif has been under treatment at the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital since Sunday.
Relatives told New Age that the Gandaria High School’s class seven student accidentally touched the un-insulated power supply line while trying to collect a kite hanging from the live wire near the victim’s home at Gandaria.
The power line has been drawn between poles at the height of 11 feet.
On Saturday, at least six minor students aged six to nine suffered severe burns at Alubazar after a transformer burst close to their madrassah on Haji Osman Ghani Road.
Nazrul Islam, who teaches at the madrassah, said that the six pupils suffered the burns as the transformer installed at close proximity to the 2nd floor of the madrassah suddenly exploded.
DMCH Burn Unit’s resident surgeon Partha Sankar Pall told New Age that every day they provide treatments
to around 200 patients, mostly victims of electrocution.
He said that the victims of electrocution and burnt in industrial accidents face greater risks of life due the nature of their injuries often needing amputation to save their lives.
Urban Planner Adil Mohammad Khan said that electrocution became an endemic issue in the old town and elsewhere in the country due to faulty drawing of power supply lines by the careless and negligent utilities.
Adil, general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners said that people have to be more careful until the authorities took interest to remove the flaws.
He asked the authorities to keep buffer spaces between homes and the live wires and for installing transformers at safe distances.
The ultimate solution, he said, would come from underground power supply lines.
Until getting the ultimate solution, Adil demanded addressing the risk factors by streamlining the supply lines in a pragmatic manner.
Dhaka Power Distribution Company executive director Md Ramiz Uddin Sarker told New Age that in possible localities underground power supply cables would be laid for which a pilot project would be taken at Dhanmondi Residential Area.
He said that the DPDC had sent a proposal to the government for drawing insulated cables in the old town where, due to congestion, it would never be possible to the cables underground.
He said that house owners also created problems by not leaving free spaces as the Building Code requires.
During visits, New Age saw high tension power lines and transformers within easy reach of people at several congested localities of the capital, particularly in the old town.
A common sight was power lines touching balconies and windows of residential buildings.
Many transformers were installed at narrow intersections almost touching residential buildings.
Residents complained that the capital’s power utilities developed the habit of turning deaf ears to their requests to shift the risky power supply lines after electrocution ended many lives.
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