Anantnag: Oct 01: Not taking safety measures into consideration, the electric transformers installed using Member Legislative Assembly (MLA) funds in many parts of south Kashmir have become a public hazard as they pose grave danger to humans and animals alike.
Sources in the Power Development Department (PDD) told Kashmir Reader that the funds provided by the lawmakers, almost always fall, short of proper acquisition and installation costs for transformers.
As a result, sources said, the department compromises on basic requirements like platforms, height of fuse sets and poles, which always pose a threat to life surrounding the installation.
Highly placed sources in the department said that lawmakers, to please people in their constituencies, announce installation of transformers and then do not pay the full amount required for the installation.
“For example installing a 100 KVA transformer requires at least an amount of 2.5 lac rupees. What we, however, get is around 1.5 lac rupees with the clichéd ‘please manage the rest’ line with it,” a senior PDD official from Anantnag district said.
He said that the ‘please manage’ attitude of the lawmakers is ruining the department’s reputation and putting lives in danger.
“The lower staff then tends to compromise on some basic stuff to save money. I am not blaming the staff, what are they supposed to do? The department is already over burdened,” the official said.
Recently, the PDD installed a transformer on Eid Gah road in Bijbehara town, with its fuse set installed at a height of less than four feet.
The locals told Kashmir Reader that they have to take extreme caution in allowing their children to venture out , given the transformer has been installed right on the roadside.
Similar complaints were received from Mahend village of Anantnag district, where a transformer needs to be installed but there is no money available to erect a platform.
“As a result, the transformer has been brought in and put down in the lawn of a residential house. How grave a danger that is, you can yourself imagine,” a villager from Mahend said.
PDD Chief Engineer, Shehnaz Goni, however, said that the reasons put forth by the officials from south Kashmir are mere “excuses”.
“If we have set safety measures they should not be flouted, come what may. I don’t agree to this explanation you have been provided by my officials,” Goni said.
She agreed that necessary amends need to be made at certain places to make transformers more safe and they will be taken in due time.
“The problem is that we cannot be lenient towards safety measures, it is human lives we are putting at stake. The mistakes will be rectified soon,” she said.
Photo Caption: A transformer on Eid-Gah road Bijbehara has fuse-sets installed at a height of less than 4 feet.