Bhubaneswar: A day after the death of 10 passengers near Golanthara in Ganjam district after a private bus came in contact with an 11 KV live wire, the Odisha government on Monday suspended four engineers for dereliction of duty.
Talking to mediapersons after presiding over a high-level meeting at Lok Seva Bhawan here, Energy Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra said that Junior Engineer Debashish Nayak and Assistant Engineer Biswa Ranjan Mohapatra of the Berhampur Electrical Division and Swarajya Pranigrahi, Junior Engineer and Purna Chandra Behera, Assistant Engineer of the Rural Development Department have been placed under suspension.
Talking about safety measures his department has decided to take, Mishra said that steps will be taken to raise the height of 11 KV wires as per the guidelines. “The 11 KV wire should be raised to a height of 20 feet from the ground level. The departmental JE will visit the area and identify the low-hanging 11 KV wire and report it to the circle superintending engineer, who will take the necessary action,” he said.
The Minister further said that workshops on power safety measures will be organised at regular intervals across the state.
Earlier in the day, the Southco, in its preliminary report submitted to the government, blamed the Rural Development Department for the tragedy. It said that the 11 KV wire was raised at a height of 12 feet from the ground level. However, the height came down to 9 feet after the Rural Development Department raised the height of the road by three feet during reconstruction in 2018. As a result, the height of the ill-fated private bus which was 12 feet, came in contact with the KV wire.
Though the Southco had brought this matter to the notice of the Rural Development Department, the latter did not take any action, the report stated.
The Commerce and Transport Department should also be blamed for the incident as it had given permission to the AC sleeper coach buses to ply on the village road, it added.