ILLAM, May 2: The indifference of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) toward proper maintenance of electricity poles and wires has put people in dozens of villages in Ilam district in a great risk.
The power utility is not taking any initiative to repair hundreds of broken poles and tighten hanging electricity line, exposing people to electrical risk. A pylon of 11 KVA transmission line in Kuldhar, which is near district headquarters, is in a dilapidated condition. The pylon, which lies along the road between Mechi Highway and Division Road Office, can breakdown anytime. Locals say there is a risk of hanging wires touching their houses during strong winds.
An official of NEA's Ilam office say the pylon was hit by a vehicle sometimes ago. “We have started searching for vehicle that caused damage to the pylon,” Sitaram Sigdel, chief of Distribution Department at NEA's Ilam office, said.
Many electricity poles in different parts of the district are in a deplorable condition. Local farmers say that they were afraid to work in their farmland as electrical wires from poles are hanging over their field. The farmers said that they had immediately informed the NEA office about the deplorable condition of electricity poles, but to no avail. “We have managed to keep the pole upright by using bamboo poles. The wooden poles can break down anytime.
But NEA officials are least concerned to replace them,” a consumer of Barbote said.
Officials of NEA say around 80 percent of electricity poles in the district are in a dilapidated condition. “We have not been able to replace them as the head office has not sent new poles to us. We are in immediate need of 6,000 poles,” Sigdel said, adding that his office receives around 1,000 poles annually.
NEA is also suffering from shortage of employees. Of the approved 90 posts, 38 are still vacant, said Sigdel.