Two electric transformers of Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) blasted and another one fell on the ground within two weeks, hampering irrigation to about 1000 acres of boro fields at Bamunia Jora Dighirpar and Bamunia Majapara villages under Domar upazila.
Overloading due to large number of illegal power connection caused blast of the two transformers including a recently replaced one at Bamunia Jora Dighirpar while a newly set up transformer in adjacent Bamunia Majapara village fell on the ground along with its high platform on February 11 due to faulty set up, locals said.
"The 200 KVA transformer at Bamunia Jora Dighirpar village blasted early this month. The power disruption stopped irrigation to 600 acres of boro land," said Abdul Baten, 50, an affected power pump owner living near the transformer.
Locals said PDB men on February 14 replaced the burnt transformer with a new one and restored power supply after realising Tk 11,000 as bribe and additional Tk 2000 in name of payment for labourers.
But only three days later, on the night of February 17, the new transformer blasted too and power supply in the area stopped, locals said, adding that overloading due to illegal connections caused the accidents.
Moslemuddin, 60, of Bamunia Jora Dighirpar village lamented that boro paddy on his 10-bigha field is dying as he could not irrigate the land due to power disruption.
"A 200 KVA transformer can cope with maximum 160 kilowatt (KW) electricity but due to overloading, the aforesaid transformers had to bear load of 175 KW to 180 KW. Besides, uncovered below standard metal wires used for illegal power connection often come in contact with live trees. These are possible causes of the damage," said an executive engineer of PDB in Nilphamari.
Irrigation to 400 acres of land in Bamunia Majapara village of the same union also remains also uncertain as a newly set transformer with its high platform fell on the ground allegedly due to sub-standard set up.
Locals alleged that the lineman and helpers concerned are demanding money for re-setting the transformer.
Babu Monoronjon, chairman of Bamunia union parishad, said he brought the matters to the notice of the resident engineer of Domar PDB but the latter showed indifference.
"We are conducting investigation to find out the reason of transformer blast. Our men will go to erect a transformer by today [Wednesday]," said Monoronjon Roy, resident engineer of Domar PDB.