Pieces of bricks do the precarious balancing act for illegal JSEB connections at Okni Mohalla in Hazaribagh on Friday. Picture by Vishvendu Jaipuriar
If you walk under electric wires in Hazaribagh, be prepared for bricks from the blue.
Power thieves in the city are perfecting their stealing technique by attaching bricks to wires used to hook electricity from overhead wires. The logic — bricks add weight to the illegal wires, helping them to stay connected to the main source.
This out-of-the-box scientific approach to theft is proving tough on pedestrians. Some 15 days ago, a man crossing a lane in Okni Mohalla fainted on being hit on his head by a brick. He was rushed to sadar hospital for treatment.
Power theft — a jangle of wires hooked on to a Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) overhead wire — is a common sight in Hazaribagh mohallas.
So the theft that bleeds JSEB also batters pedestrians. This new invention has also earned a name for itself — brick bombs.
Local residents accused electricity department officials of turning a blind eye to the problem.
“I’ve been to so many cities but never seen these brick bombs hanging on wires. Thank god, no severe case of death or cerebral injury has taken place so far,” said Manish Kumar, Boddom Bazaar resident, who studies in a Delhi college and is home on vacation.
Binod Prasad, a retired government employee and resident of Canary Road, said the electricity department never cared to take action against power theft.
“When they are losing huge revenue due to power theft and don’t care to check it, who cares for brick bombs? The department should launch a massive operation to check this malpractice,” he said.
Sadar hospital authorities did not have any data of how many persons, injured by falling bricks, had come to them for treatment. But, residents put the figure at three or four a month.
“I remember a school boy suffered injury on his shoulder a few months ago when a brick fell on him,” added Shivpuri area resident Manoj Singh. “Thodi si suvidha ke liye log dusre ki jaan ko afaat mein daal dete hain (For their own convenience, people put the lives of others in danger),” he added.
When contacted by The Telegraph on the matter, JSEB executive engineer Rakesh Prasad expressed surprise.
“It’s a serious matter and we will definitely take action. Yes, our department launches sustained drives against power theft and several FIRs have also been lodged in this regard. I will issue directives to put a check on this brick practice,” he said.
Till then, this perfect enactment of the popular Hindi proverb pehle chori upar se seena zori will go on.
Why has such rampant pilferage gone unchecked? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org