Overhead power lines pose threat to commuters in Adityapur on Friday. (Animesh Sengupta)
A new 2km road to National Institute of Technology (NIT), which is offering vehicles a smooth ride, is giving residents of Adityapur anxiety pangs at the same time.
Reason: the Rs 4-crore link to the tech cradle has gained around 3ft in height in its new avatar, bringing college buses and heavy vehicles dangerously close to overhead high-tension wires.
Unabated hooking of power, leaving a tangle of wire hanging from above, has only doubled the peril.
A section of concerned residents on Friday petitioned Seraikela-Kharsawan deputy commissioner K.N. Jha, urging him to reinstall electricity poles to prevent a mishap.
According to Om Prakash, the president of voluntary outfit Jan Kalyan Morcha, which is spearheading the drive, danger lurks at two points — crossings of Road No. 32 and Road No. 4 — of the 11,000KVA power line.
“The stretch is frequented by NIT buses. Sometimes students sit on the roof of buses. Imagine what can happen. Loaded trucks also use the new road. A mishap is waiting to happen. Lives are at stake. Commuters are apprehensive. Immediate action is required,” Om Prakash, who is one of the signatories in the petition, said.
Another petitioner, Ashok Trivedi, said the new road would become more vulnerable to jolt mishaps during the monsoon if electricity poles are not reinstalled.
“The road revamp has reduced safe distance between vehicles and the overhead high-tension line. During the rains, electrocution will be unavoidable if the district administration does not act now,” he warned.
A copy of the residents’ petition has been forwarded to the executive engineer of Jharkhand State Electricity Board’s (JSEB) Adityapur division and also his counterpart in the state road construction department for quick and necessary action.
JSEB executive engineer M.N. Singh confirmed having received the petition.
“It is a genuine cause of concern for local residents. We are considering replacement of posts wherever possible. Places where the poles cannot be replaced with longer ones, we may install guards beneath the high-tension line,” he said.