A high-tension power cable fell near the NIT staff quarters on campus this morning, killing four buffaloes but miraculously sparing staffers who often use the open space for morning walks.
Utilities company Jusco, a Tata subsidiary that supplies power to NIT, claimed they had warned the tech institute about the poor condition of the power infrastructure on campus several times.
The accident, the official indicated, was waiting to happen, but clarified that the company could not be blamed as maintenance of wires and power distribution equipment was NIT’s responsibility.
Ram Pravesh, a milk seller who owned the cattle, said he had come out of his house around 9.45am as usual to send off his animals for grazing.
Barely had the buffaloes reached the adjoining field along the Kharkai river, when he saw them drop dead one by one.
On closer look, he realised what had happened. A part of the 11,000 KVA power line was lying on the field with one end still stuck to an electricity pole.
Pravesh alerted local residents of Adityapur immediately.
“Of the four buffaloes that died, three were pregnant. I had never thought that fate will hit me so hard by killing all my buffaloes and with them my small business,” he said.
Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Ranjan said his company supplied power to NIT, but up to the campus boundary. “From there, NIT is responsible for distributing the power on campus using equipment maintained by it,” he said.
The Jusco spokesperson pointed out that there were several other points where the live wire was dangerously loose.
However, Professor M. Tigga, in-charge of the NIT administration, said he had no idea about Jusco’s warning letters.
“The high-tension line must have snapped after a spark on the pole. We will get it checked,” he told The Telegraph, adding the college would ensure that similar accidents were prevented in future.