Building Under High Tension Lines: PHED Lauds CRSG’s Initiative

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, (PHED) has commended the intervention of the Cross River State Government in ensuring that those found to have contravened safety standards by building or erecting structures under PHED’s high tension lines were advised to vacate immediately.
The Chief Executive Officer, PHED, Naveen Kapoor who made the commendation during a safety meeting with stakeholders held recently in Port Harcourt, said it was a right move in the right direction.
Kapoor noted that any government desirous of safeguarding the lives of its citizens in terms of unwarranted deaths from electrocution would not leave any stone unturned.
The PHED boss’ expression is coming on the heels of the recently circulated release by the Cross River State Government, which was made available to his office.
The Tide learnt that Cross River State through the Ministry of Information and Orientation, has directed all illegal occupants under the high tension lines to vacate or face appropriate sanctions.
The Commissioner of the Ministry, RoseMary Archibong, said that the Government has observed with dismay the flagrant abuse of the right of way of PHED’s high tension lines by some members of public despite several calls and directives by Government Agencies that they should desist from building any structure or carrying out trading under high tension lines.
Structures like buildings, shops, drinking parlours, viewing centres and trading activities along Atekong Avenue by Mariam, Akim Market, Etta Agbor, UNICAL Gate, Atimbo by Access Road, Ika-Ika Oqua Market, Nyahasang and Golden/Mount Zion would be affected by the government’s directive.
Other areas are Barracks Road/Bogobiri Suya, 8 Miles market by First Bank, Old Odukpani Road, Essien town, Ikot Ishie, Ikot Ansa, Ikot Effanga and Eburutu Barracks Junction.
They have contravened the safety standards and thereby put the lives of the citizens at the risk of electrocution.
“‘Government hereby strongly advises all concerned as a matter of urgency in their own interest to remove every structure under the high tension lines in Calabar or face the appropriate sanctions.
“Every life is important to this Government and must be protected”, Mrs.  Archibong concluded.
It would be recalled that 8 people lost their lives and 11 others sustained various degree of electrical injuries when UNICAL 11kv lines snapped and rested on top of a football viewing centre at Nyahasang on 20th April 2017.
A similar incidence also occurred on Cameroon 11kv feeder on 21st October 2017 where a nursing mother and a-100 level student of Cross River State University of Technology lost their lives.
However, in order to further improve the safety standards not only in Calabar, the management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has embarking on re-stringing/re-conductoring of the age long network.