The authorities have banned stringing of optical fibre cables (OFC) by any party or individual on the electric poles in the State especially in Shillong city.
In an order issued today, the Senior Electrical Inspector, Inspectorate of Electricity directed for immediate removal of OFCs that have already been strung on the electric poles in different districts of the State of Meghalaya to ensure that no further tilting or damages are caused to the electric poles in order to prevent the high possibilities of accident or injuries to human lives and damage to public properties.
He also informed that stringing of such cables has to have written approval from the Senior Electrical Inspector, Inspectorate of Electricity.
According to the official, in several districts of Meghalaya, OFCs are being strung randomly on the electric poles without considering the strength, aging, clearance from electric lines as per relevant regulations and factor of safety of the electric poles.
“Therefore, the said stringing of OFCs has violated the measures of safety towards the lives and properties of human beings, as such it may cause the electric poles to bend or collapse, thereby may cause injuries to human beings and damage to the public properties such as vehicles, houses etc,” the Senior Electrical Inspector said.
He also said that due to non-adherence of safety norms while stringing of OFCs on the electric poles in accordance with the Central Electricity Authority (measures relating to safety and electric supply) Regulations 2010, it has led to accidents whereby heavy vehicles ripped the cables and damaged the electric pole and electric line thereof, in some parts of Shillong as well as in other district headquarters of Meghalaya, that have caused power interruptions and simultaneously caused high voltage surge and have damaged the electrical equipment in the houses of the general public.
According to him, such actions are alarming and may cause injury or accident to the general public.
The Senior Electrical Inspector also said that those permissions for stringing of OFCs have not been sought by the concerned parties from the office of the Inspectorate of Electricity and no approval whatsoever have been issued for the same.
“Therefore, stringing of OFC’s on the electric poles is in contravention with the Regulations 19, 55 and 57 of the Central Electricity Authority (measures relating to safety and electric supply) Regulations 2010,” he added.
He also stated that the clearance between the OFC and the electric conductor are not being strung as per Regulations 60, 61, 68, 69 and 77 of the Central Electricity Authority (measures relating to safety and electric supply) Regulations 2010 and that there is a possibility of electrical accident to the workers or injury resulting from contact, leakage or induction between such electric and telecommunication lines.
The official also said that Meghalaya being a hilly area of high wind pressures with high deviation of maximum and minimum temperatures, the size and weight of the OFC may cause the electric poles to collapse due to excessive loading, weight and coiling bunch of OFC on the poles which violates sub-regulations (7), (8) and (9) of the Regulations 57 of the Central Electricity Authority (measures relating to safety and electric supply) Regulations 2010, wherein the electric poles may collapse and there is a high possibility of accident or injuries during natural disaster due to wind pressure and heavy storms.
Further, he said that the right of pole usage by stringing of OFC on the electric pole for providing internet connectivity is important for all, “however safety of the general public is the highest priority that cannot be compromised.”
The Senior Electrical Inspector in exercise of the power conferred by Section 177 of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003), and Rules and Regulations made thereunder has directed that permission and clearance have to be sought from the Inspectorate of Electricity for stringing of OFC on any electric poles, who in turn will conduct inspection and check the feasibility for necessary clearance and accord approval for safety of all concerned.
Stating that henceforth, no stringing of OFC by any party or individual is allowed on the electric poles without any written approval from the Senior Electrical Inspector, Inspectorate of Electricity, the official said that failure to comply with the order is an offence and is punishable as enshrined under Section 146 of the Electricity Act, 2003.
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