BEDC urges demolition of illegal structures, violating Right of Way of power lines ……. Bags safety merit award

As part of efforts to reduce the violation against the Right of Way (ROW) of power infrastructure, BEDC Electricity Plc (BEDC) has advocated that relevant state ministries of Lands, Surveys, Environment and Public Utilities should identify, mark and demolish all illegal structures/shops/buildings that violate the right of way of power lines in public interest.

BEDC Safety Manager, Mr. Gilbert Nweke who made the advocacy also affirmed the readiness of the company to partner with the four state governments under its franchise namely; Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo and their law enforcement agents to ensure that all relevant laws in respect of the ROW were activated to tackle the menace.

The Safety Manager made this known recently while presenting a paper on: “Violation of Right of Way of Power Lines and Vandalism of Power Infrastructure” at the World Environment Day organized by Independent Radio and Television (ITV) Benin, in conjunction with Frontline Energy and Environmental Consultancy Services (FEECS) recently in Benin, Edo state.

‘In line with NEMSA directive, customers that violate the right of way of power lines can be disconnected while distribution companies should not extend electricity supply to prospective customers whose buildings/structures/businesses violate the right of way of power lines” Nweke stressed further.

According to him, issuing   letters of notifications of violation of Right of Way of Power lines to identified defaulters and following up with the disconnection of supply would serve as a deterrent factor, adding that deployment of social media platforms, use of print and electronic media to create widespread public safety awareness against trading or building illegal structures under power lines could also be helpful.

Speaking on measures to curb vandalism of power infrastructure, Nweke called for the arrest and prosecution of all vandals and those who receive vandalized items from them.

He also called for the parade of all arrested cable and other electrical accessories vandals on television and other means of communications to serve as deterrent to others, saying that BEDC has commenced fencing of its distribution substations with see-through materials for easy sighting of any suspicious movement around its installations.

He listed challenges confronting BEDC on the Right of Way of power lines to include, illegal connections and reconnections, vandalism of power infrastructure, meter by-pass/energy theft, illegal activities of roadside electricians on the network and hanging of wires.

Others are; unprofessional electrical wiring of houses, no earthing, trespass/illegal tampering with power equipment/installation, stringing of wires on top of iron roofing sheets of neighbours, hanging of clothes on electric wire/cable and use of aluminium ladder for illegal connections and reconnections.

Some of the actions taken by BEDC according to Nweke to address ROW issues include; mounting signage warning people and advertising agents to desist from building/trading under power lines, disconnection of customers who violate the ROW of power lines in line with Nigeria Electricity Management Services (NEMSA) directive and partnering with the governments of Delta, Edo, Ekiti ad Ondo state on identifying and demolishing of illegal structures under power lines.

To address vandalism of power infrastructure BEDC the safety Manager said has commenced fencing of its distribution substations and outdoor installations with transparent wire gauze fences that can hinder easy access to vandals as well as expose trespassers at the substations, arrest and prosecution of apprehended cable and other electrical accessories vandals before a a competent court to serve as deterrent and partnering with some safety institutions such as World Safety Organization (WSO) Institute of safety professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) to sensitize the public against vandalism of power infrastructure among other.

At the event, BEDC was honoured with a Merit Award of Excellence for its contributions to environmental safety by the organ

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