Live wires everywhere, PDD nowhere

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Apr 21: Despite repeated concern voiced by the public, live wires hang down from lampposts across Srinagar city, particularly in civil lines, risking the lives of people.
All along the busy Airport Road—from Jehangir Chowk to Humhama—and parts of city center including the commercial hub Lal Chowk, open control boxes (technically called Marshalling Kiosks) of the lampposts posts serve as deathtraps.
Dangerous part of the story is that passersby don’t have inkling of what an inadvertent touch with these boxes means. Live wires protruding out of these boxes carry a deadly 220 volt current and experts fear a mere touch with the wires could result in instantaneous death of a person.
It was the role of Power Development Department (PDD) to maintain the boxes.
Under safety norms such boxes should never be left open especially when it is very much with the reach of a passerby, experts say, adding, “Such a callous attitude speaks of slackness on the part of PDD people.”
Recently, luck favored a man when his 6-year daughter fiddled with a wire in Parraypora locality of uptown city. “Thanks to Allah” there was no electricity that time otherwise it would have been a disaster, said Showkat Hussain who immediately removed her away from the spot.
Residents of the area say the boxes have been lying open for the past several years.
Such a risk prevails in an area of over 10 kilometers road stretch dotted with the streetlight posts.
Ironically, the PDD authorities appear to have no regrets. “The boxes may have been opened for some repairs and later the staff forgot to close it,” a senior PDD official told Greater Kashmir.
When contacted Superintending Engineer PDD, Aftab Ahmed said the problem would be solved soon.
“Normally we don’t keep it (boxes) open, but whichever way it has happened we’ll rectify it at an earliest,” Aftab said.