11 KV transformer kept at public place, poses risk
Children try to get back their tennis ball from inside the cage containing a high-voltage transformer at Shantinagar in Nilphamari town, thanks to the callousness of the authorities concerned who kept the transformer in such a risky condition. PHOTO: STAR
An 11 kilovolt (KV) electric transformer of Power Development Board (PDB) has remained in an unsafe condition at a busy place of Nilphamari municipality area for the last six months, thanks to the callousness of the authorities concerned.
The high voltage transformer, connected with main lines of national grid with heavy metal wires, is set on a trolley, occupying part of the road beside a children's playground at Shantinagar under ward No-5 of the municipality. The iron net enclosure around it has wide gaps, making it highly risky.
Visiting the spot on Thursday (December 5), this correspondent saw some young boys holding and peeping through the iron net, looking for their tennis ball that fell inside while playing.
The transformer receives 11 KV electricity from the national grid's supply line and after undergoing process converts it into 440-volt for consumption of thousands of clients, PDB sources said.
If anyone touches any part of the risky transformer out of curiosity even with a stick or something, he might be electrocuted and sparks might lead to devastating fire, they said.
As per rule, such a transformer is to be set on electric poles, at least 10 feet above the ground with special protective arrangements.
But PDB men set the unsafe transformer on road to continue electricity supply in the area after the regular transformer, set on high poles in proper way, went out of order about six months ago, locals said.
They took the regular transformer to workshop for repair with commitment to reset it very shortly but it has not been done in six months.
Locals said they are now in panic as the new transformer sparks very often due to touching with something blown by air. Even temporary short circuit due to technical reasons is not uncommon.
Everyday, thousands of people including school students and patients use this road to go to nearby district hospital and educational institutions, said Anil Roy, a resident of the area.
“I am particularly anxious for children who play beside the risky transformer as their balls very often fall inside the transformer cage and they try to get it back risking lives,” said college teacher Anwar Hossain, also a resident of the area.
Municipal councillor of ward No-5, Abdul Jalil said he had brought the matter to the notice of local PDB officials a number of times but to no effect yet.
Rubel Ahmed, executive engineer of Nilphamari PDB, said, "We had set up the transformer on ground on temporary basis. We could not bring a new transformer from the divisional office at Rangpur due to frequent hartals and blockades, enforced by political parties. As soon as the situation becomes normal, we will not make any delay to replace it in the proper way.”