Guwahati, Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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Powergrid accused of violating safety norms
Correspondent
 TEZPUR, May 28 – The Power Grid Corporation of India, a Government of India enterprise, which is in the business of transmission of power from power projects in the north-eastern region, through their 800 KV, 400 KV, + - 800 KV and 132 KV lines, is allegedly dealing with extra high tension power in a dangerous manner, ignoring all the provision of security and safety codes and guidelines of the Government of India. During its presence in the north-east in the last several years, several accidents have taken place due to reluctance on the part of the authorities to adhere to these codes.

For the record it may be mentioned here that in 2004, Powergrid took up a project from NEEPCO Ltd to supply power to NEEPCO’s 750 MW Kameng Hydel power project at West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. The project was to draw up a 132 KV line from the 400/220 KV Balipara sub-station in Assam to Khupi-Kimi in Arunachal Pradesh. This entire work was executed by one Syama Power Limited and the firm readied the line by 2006. But, it is a fact that because of the improper execution of the work including non usage of modern machinery, conventional practice through local inexperienced contractors etc., many untoward incidents like electrocution of power line workers had occurred. The same situation is going on in the construction work of many tower lines in Sonitpur district.

Presently the company, as part of its power transmission work in the region has been busy in finding of location for tower, their infrastructure and erection etc., in Sonitpur is alleged to be violating various safety norms posing a serious threat to the people. Sources said that presently Larsen & Toubro Engineering Limited (L&T) which has been allotted the construction work of the power lines has allegedly failed to maintain the workmanship and quality of materials used in the project, modern machinery and is gettting the work done ony through local inexperienced contractors. In this regard though several objections have been raised, they have fallen on deaf ears. It is alleged that the Powergrid never pressurises the L&T to rectify this.

Many nature loving organisations and other bodies including the ABSU, AASU, AJYCP and KMSS said that there will be corridor of 800 KV DC line from Biswanath Chariali to Maldah which will not benefit the northeastern states as there is no power sub-station in the region for converting the DC power to AC.

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