Opinion

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Unsafe power connections left largely unattended

Published: 00:00, Aug 08,2020

 
 

THE number of deaths and injuries by electrocution is high mainly because of unsafe lines which power distribution agencies have largely left unattended. It appears to be common that people take connections using unsafe and risky bamboo poles and hooks. While such connections pose a great risk to life, they become riskier in times of flood as any snapping of the power lines can electrify a large area. People in flood-hit parts of the capital are, as New Age reported on Friday, at a high risk of electrocution as a few hundred residents have reportedly taken connections using unsafe bamboo poles in many areas. Consumers who have taken such connections are reported to have expressed concern about the exposed power lines and the indifference of the authorities concerned to their demand for power connection in a proper and safe way. What Dhaka Power Distribution Company seeks to say that many consumers are responsible for adding to the risk through such unsafe connections on their own might be true, but what is worrying is that the company has failed to monitor the distribution lines and provide safe connections.

While there are consumers who on their own arrange for unsafe connections illegally, there are many legal consumers who are forced to do so as their houses are far away from main electric poles, with the companies often refusing or delaying proper connections. In city areas, the power supply company reportedly lacks adequate distribution lines, forcing people to resort to unsafe connections. Such connections are also alleged to damage the main power lines as the connections loosen off during storms or strong wind. Dhaka Power Distribution Company coming to temporarily suspend power supply to some consumers considering the risk of the unsafe connections might help for the time being, but consumers might not live in darkness for long. An early and effective implementation of a Tk 919-crore development project which plans to replace non-standard power lines in areas with risks in Dhaka as well as some areas in Narayanganj is what is required. Similar projects and programmes are necessary to overhaul the distribution lines across the country as a few hundred people died and a greater number become injured by electrocution from such risky lines every year.

The government and the agencies concerned must immediately attend to the issue and monitor unsafe and risky connections, especially in flood-hit areas, and take action accordingly. At the same time, the agencies concerned must work on the required overhaul of the distribution lines so that there remains no unsafe connection to cause any unwarranted death.

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