Guwahati, Sept. 18: Assam power minister Pradyut Bordoloi today instructed officials of his department, including the Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL), to ensure public safety during transmission and distribution of power in the state.
Bordoloi convened a meeting in Dispur and asked all to uphold public safety with immediate priority.
According to sources, the meeting was called after a report published in The Telegraph on Tuesday highlighted how most of the high-voltage power transformers in Guwahati are in “extremely dangerous” state.
A report prepared by the office of the chief electrical inspector that had selected 100 such transformers for a sample survey, stated that public safety aspect was “either ignored or not attended to at all” despite repeated reminders. “The minister asked the officials to start work from tomorrow,” a source told this correspondent.
A source in Dispur said following the report, the office of chief electrical inspector S. Barooa today issued a fresh order to the APDCL, government agencies as well as consumers reminding them to comply with the safety norms and emphasised that non-compliance could lead to disconnection of power supply.
It said that statutory safety provisions should be followed during use and supply of electric power in hoardings, billboards, high-mast light supports, traffic signalling lights supports and other assemblies in public places across the state.
Barooa, however, refused to talk to this correspondent regarding the fresh order.
The order, a copy of which is with The Telegraph, was also sent to senior power department officials, all deputy commissioners, chairman and managing director of APDCL, all senior electrical inspectors, PWD and the Guwahati development department, among others.
The order said all electric power supply circuits or arrangements needed to be appropriately protected by using earth leakage circuit breaker or residual current circuit breaker in addition to other protective devices of appropriate ratings. It said only armoured cables shall be used at public places without any exposed joints, the armours should be effectively earth-connected, electric connections or joints of any description shall not be kept in exposed and accessible condition in any way, including in open switching/marshalling boxes.
It also said that all metallic structures/fencings used in proximity of electric power lines and arrangements should be effectively earth-connected and regular maintenance and preventive checks on all such installations must to be carried out by respective owners through statutory competent and authorised persons to prevent any danger arising out of electricity.
Compensation: The Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) today ordered payment of interim compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the family of Manab Barman who was electrocuted at Ganeshguri here last Thursday.
The 31-year-old was electrocuted after he came in contact with an exposed joint of live wires jutting out of an advertisement board on a road divider while crossing RP Road.
The order was passed by a division bench of the rights commission comprising its chairperson Justice (retired) Aftab Hussain Saikia and member Tarun Phookan.
The rights panel registered a case (No. 858/9/13-14) in connection with the incident and also ordered an inquiry to be conducted by the commission of lower Assam division within 30 days.
In its order, the commission said the compensation has to be shared by both the APDCL and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation in equal proportion.
Barman’s family, in their FIR, had held the APDCL and GMC responsible for his death.