Power Lines Near Rooftops Appear Hazardous

Energy Fiji Limited says the proper procedure was followed when giving approvals for connections to homes in settlements.
04 Jan 2020 09:27
Power Lines Near Rooftops Appear Hazardous
Site of the Caubati fire which occurred in New Year’s Day.

The house fire in Caubati on New Year’s Day has brought to light the hazardous nature of electrical wir­ing which extend from the power poles to houses in the informal settlement.

Electrical wires are hanging less than a metre from rooftops. In some cases, the wires are almost touching the rooftops.

The fire on Wednesday burnt wires that provide power to more than 20 homes in Mamas Place. These wires passed on top of the two homes that were destroyed.

Energy Fiji Limited’s chief executive of­ficer, Hasmukh Patel, said their technicians and inspection teams do their work thor­oughly, especially when giving approvals.

He said approvals for these connections would have been given some time ago and a lot could have happened since then. He also said EFL followed the proper proce­dure when giving approvals for connections from their power poles.

Vijay Prakash, a resident of the informal settlement in Caubati, said technicians from EFL had acted quickly in ensuring no further damage.

He said EFL had advised them that they would have to run wires from the posts to their homes.

“For me, it will cost $400 because the post is closer to my home. Some people will be forking out more than $1000,” he said.

“EFL has also informed us that all wires have to be at least two metres higher than any rooftop.”

Another resident, Suresh Singh, is wor­ried because he will not be able to accumu­late that kind of money soon.

“I guess my family will have to live in the dark for some time. I am also hoping that I can borrow power from next door,” he said.

“I am willing to pay to get electricity to my home from a neighbour.”

This practice is however frowned upon by EFL. It was the Government’s directive for informal settlements to be provided electric­ity and water to improve living standards.

Residents in Mama’s Place also confirmed that some houses had been built later and some built directly below the power lines.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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