A seven-member committee constituted by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has suggested various measures to make electricity distribution safer in the city. The committee has also recommended to impose fine on those who violate the distance norms and other regulations prescribed by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company. The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has constituted this committee to survey constructions near the high tension electric lines and to suggest effective measures to avoid untoward incidents and casualties.
This committee surveyed nearly two thirds of the city by May 31 in 2019 and submitted its report before the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay HC on Tuesday. This was the fifth report of the special committee and the recommendations have been elaborated in it. The committee has termed NIT, NMC, MSEDCL, SNDL and citizens equally responsible for making the electricity distribution network unsafe.
According to the report, it was the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders to make the power distribution system safe, but it seems that those concerned did not strictly perform their respective duties and bend the norms. Hence, it is necessary to fix the responsibility of NIT, NMC and MSEDCL (25 per cent each), power distribution franchise SNDL at 15 per cent and citizens concerned at 10 per cent. The committee has further recommended fine of rs 10 per sq ft from residential consumers and Rs.20 per sq ft from commercial and industrial consumers for violating the norms.
The committee was formed after the death of twins Priyash and Piyush on May 31 in 2017. They were playing at the gallery of their house at Nara in Sugat Nagar when they were electrocuted. Adv Shrirang Bhandarkar is amicus curiae while Adv Sashibhushan Wahane, Adv Sudhir Puranik and Adv Ulhas Aurangabadkar represent other parties. The committee has detected 3,934 dangerous constructions, of which 3,912 have electricity connections.
This include 3,100 residential, 650 commercial and 122 industrial connections. There are 1,900 such constructions in NIT jurisdiction and 2,000 in NMC jurisdiction. In all, 3,502 buildings do not have approved plans and arbitrary work is continuing due to apathy of NIT and NMC, while MSEDCL and SNDL have not followed rules while giving connections, the report stated.
Meanwhile, for making the electricity distribution process safe, it is necessary to take measures like shifting the high tension line, fitting overhead insulated air bunch cable, laying underground high tension cables or demolishing unauthorized constructions near high tension cables. Unauthorized constructions would have to be demolished at 468 places. About rs 26 crore would be needed to make the entire electricity distribution process safe, the committee suggested.
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