Maniruzzaman Mani, a dweller of Rangpur city, has the electric wires of his house connected with a bamboo pole. This not only violates the rules of Power Development Board but can also be hazardous to his family and local people.
Yet somehow he managed to keep the electric connection with the help of some personnel of the Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd.
"I have paid for the electrical standard pole several times but the authority is yet to provide it. We are using bamboo pole to connect electrical wires because there is no alternative way," Mani said in defense of this action.
Surprisingly, the terrific case of Mani is not unique, as there are a several hundreds of residential connections plugged-in at the East Peerjada point of the Rangpur City Corporation.
Both the service providers and customers are aware of the dreadful effects likely to appear anytime for using bamboo poles to connect high voltage electrical wires yet they are using them.
According to the Power Development Board rules, a standard pole used for residential electrical connection should be in a maximum distance of 100 feet and the electricity cables have to be set at least 7 meters above the ground for public safety.
About all of the residential houses in East Peerjada have been provided electricity with the bamboo poles. Meanwhile some of these poles have broken down due to extra burden of heavy wires. The power wires lying on ground creates a safety hazard for everyone using the road.
A rickshaw puller of the city said that they have to move in fear of being electrocuted when they pull rickshaw through Peerjada part as the high voltage power wires remain on the street for days.
The local Councilor, Shaheda Begum said, she had informed NESCO authority about the power wires lying on the ground and asked them to take quick steps to avoid public troubles.
However, the authorities showed little concerns to the violation and mismanagement.
Some dishonest employees of the Northern Electricity Supply Company Ltd (NESCO) provided the illegal connection using bamboo poles to make them a quick buck.
The NESCO sources on anonymity told The Business Standard that though the connections are made with the violation of the Power Development Board rules, the customers do pay the electricity bills.
Mokhleshur Rahman, another customer who is also consuming power in such way said, "We are tired of waiting for the standard poles. Some of the customers even offered additional money to provide them with standard poles as soon as possible. Now we are just using the bamboo poles for the dire need of electricity while aware of the danger." and also consuming the threat of mess as there is no immediate support of standard poles."
Local people claimed that some NESCO personnel had taken bribe of Tk6,000 for per residential power connection.
Bazlur Rahman, assistant engineer of the NESCO said, "Some dishonest conductors are responsible for this violation. They are earning illicit benefits from customers."
"Stern action will be taken against them if the allegations are submitted properly", he added.
When asked, the Executive Engineer of the NESCO, Shariful Islam said, "Electric connection using bamboo poles is obviously a violation of the rules of power supply.
"The matter of bamboo lead power connection was not known to me'', said the head of the Power Sales and Supply of the NESCO.