Houses dangerously close to HT line: NMC submits list of 573 owners to HC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Nov 2017 14:42:12


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Wednesday submitted a list of 573 residential units situated in close proximity to high tension power lines. The NMC in its affidavit has confirmed the existence of such areas where high tension line is situated in close proximity of residential locality and identified houses at Binaki, Wardhaman Nagar, Rambag, Manewada, New Subhedar lay-out, Bhagwan Nagar, Wathoda, Narendra Nagar, Katol Road, Lashkaribag, Seminary Hills, Nara, Kaptee road etc and submitted names of house owners. The issue whether money required to lay underground cables can be recovered from these house owners or developers will be decided at a later stage. The work of underground cabling work of existing power lines has to be undertaken in these localities so as to permanently remove the danger.

The High Court during last hearings had sought the progress made so far in underground cabling work and utilisation of Rs 200 crore received on this count from the power distribution utility Maharashtra State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL). The MSEDCL had spent only Rs 4 crore and promised to utilise remaining Rs 196 crore for underground cabling.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Swapna Joshi while adjourning the matter by two weeks to enable the expert panel to survey the 148 danger spots, also hinted that some financial contribution from developers and residents must be taken for this work. The High Court was hearing a suo-motu PIL dealing with tragic deaths of two tiny tots at Armors Town in Sugat Nagar in third week of June and had decided to ascertain the list of dangerous spots from an independent committee consisting of experts.

During last hearing held on November 8, the High Court had finalised a seven member panel to study the 148 danger spots situated in close proximity to high tension lines. Former IAS officer S D Jahagirdar, ex-engineer of MSEDCL A P Ganguly, retired Executive Directors Manohar Bagde and Prakash Kulkarni and former Deputy Commissioner Abdul Rouf Sheikh will be five expert members. Besides, the President of High Court Bar Association (HCBA) as legal expert and President or Secretary of Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ) as representative of people will be members of this panel which will conduct verification of 148 dangerous sites where high tension line is situated in dangerous proximity to residential units or criss-cross schools posing a grave and permanent danger to residents and small children. The first meeting is slated on November 30. Only after receipt of such report, the issue of accountability, relief and preventive remedial measures can be dealt with, the High Court had clarified. .

During last hearings, the High Court in an effort to halt occupation of housing units situated quite close to power supply lines and illegal construction of balconies and galleries due to which distance of building line from power line is reduced, has directed the power distribution utilities not to supply electricity to any tenement or apartment or structure which does not have occupancy or completion certificate. The order has been made binding on Maharashtra State Power Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) and Spanco Nagpur Discom Limited.

Adv Shreerang Bhandarkar (Amicus Curiae), GP Sumant Deopujari (State) Adv A M Quazi (MSEDCL), Adv Sudhir Puranik (NMC) appeared in the matter.