TAXILA: Hundreds of people have been living under 11,000 kilowatt electricity lines for four months, endangered by a project the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) has yet to complete because of the lack of necessary equipment.
Iesco’s operations division began moving a 11,000KW heavy transmission line that passes over Bilal Colony and Haideri Town with an allocation of Rs1.1 million in August because the presence of high transmission lines over houses was a threat to their residents.
Poles were erected in new locations in this regard to make new routes for the lines. Although these poles were established and lines were laid, low voltage lines passing beneath them were not moved due to the absence of outdoor transmission kits. According to the Iesco, the project has been suspended for two months because 24 outdoor transmission kits are unavailable.
Local resident Mohammad Ali Azam said lodged a complaint on the prime minister’s complaints portal stating that the residents of both localities had been in danger for the last four months but no action was taken by the concerned Iesco authorities.
He alleged that bureaucratic and official bottlenecks were the main hurdles in the project’s completion, adding that even the offices of the prime minister’s complaints cell seemed helpless.
Mohammad Farooq, another resident, also said that the lives and health of hundreds of people was in danger because of the high intensity electricity transmission lines looming over their homes.
Bureaucratic bottlenecks are waiting for a major human tragedy to complete the project, Mr Farooq added. He said it appeared that the project, which was titled ‘Removal of Safety Hazards’ had turned into a threat to the safety of a large number of people because it remains incomplete.
Around a dozen private schools are also operating in the area, according to Atif Haqqani, the office bearer of a local private schools management association.
Iesco Executive Engineer Construction Lallzads Khan said the project is almost 90pc complete, but its full commissioning is awaited because of lack of 24 outdoor transmission kits that are not available in Iesco’s storage.
He said the relevant line superintendent in charge of the project has visited Iesco’s store twice for this equipment, but has not been issued it because it is not available. Letters were issued to the construction and operation additional chief executive at Iesco headquartersseveral times, but the equipment has not been issued yet.
Mr Khan also confirmed that complaints were received at the relevant Iesco offices from the prime minister’s citizen complaints cell, and these applications were not entertained because of the lack of necessary equipment.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2019