Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Unprotected electric wires may pose threat for pandal-hoppers

Jamshedpur: The district administration and puja committees may have arrangements to ensure safe Durga Puja but the mess of unprotected, overburdened and expired electric wires supported on rusted poles is a common sight on all main roads, subsidiary streets and puja pandals alike.

And when, during Dussehra, electricity consumption increases 30 MW (to 210 MW from 180 MW) in the city, it is passed on to these wires. Still nothing is done, as puja committees and the administration remain apathetic.

There are rules that say every pandal has to take a legal electricity connection by giving an application to the State electricity board. This is a method of dealing with the increased electricity demand and to avoid any untoward happening because of the short-circuiting and wire breakdown during pujas.

Had all the puja pandals given application for legal connections, JSEB would have calculated the area-specific increased electricity demand, thereby preparing plans in terms of installing new transformers and other equipment.

Officials of JSEB informed that staff will be on duty during the pujas and FIR will be lodged against any one found guilty of tapping or power theft. Power inspectors will keep a strict vigil on pandals too.

The official also added that the meter owners must refuse unauthorized connections to puja pandals and report to such cases if he is forced to do so by some puja organisers.

Notably Jusco, another leading power supplier in the area has asked the puja committees to take legal connections and refrain from power tapping.

But this apathy of puja samitis can’t cover up the inconsideration that the administration has displayed on its part, city dwellers feel. “There was no reason why the administration could not have placed a protection below the live wires so that it could hold these wires in case of any breakdown,” said a retired professor.

On the other hand the regional office of the JSPCB has made plans to initiate this exercise during the ongoing festival season despite the organization confronting severe resource crunch. According to information the pollution control board would conduct survey at different places to ascertain the noise and air pollution during the five-day festival.

“During Diwali festival we conduct survey to register the rise in the level of noise and air pollution and in Durga Puja we register the pollution level in the rivers owing to immersion of the idols however, this year we seek to involve air and noise segments, too,” informed R N Chaudhary, regional officer of JSPCB.

Though, in the same vein he added that insufficient manpower, lack of funds and equipments are likely to hinder the initiative but they are keen to go ahead.

According to JSPCB the idea behind conducting survey during Durga Puja is to ascertain the level of damage likely to be inflicted on the environment. So far, during the festival of lights and sound the pollution control board had been conducting survey and each year it has registered an increase in the level of pollution.

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