Darkness in Vasco as underground electricity cables damaged

VASCO: Several parts of Vasco city were plunged into darkness after the 11 kv four high tension underground cables of the electricity department, passing from MPT sub-station to Vasco city, were damaged during some excavation work being done by the MPT contractor. The cables were damaged on Wednesday afternoon and the authorities failed to repair the same, thus putting several areas into darkness.

According to information from assistant engineer, electricity department, Vasco division, Mr Vithal Haldankar, the contractor had taken up the excavation work of the ground near security gate at berth 9, in the premises of MPT on Wednesday. While digging with the help of heavy machinery to widen the gap and lay the additional railway track, the machines damaged the high tension 11 KV underground electricity cables, which resulted in failure of power supply.

The electricity department authorities initially thought that it was some minor problem and only realized that it was a major fault when people in Vasco city complained of power outage since 2 p.m. The damage to the cables was brought to the attention of the electricity department authorities only in the evening at around 7 p.m. by the contractor involved in the excavation work.

The Power Minister, Mr Milind Naik, taking immediate cognisance of the damaged underground electricity cables, directed the District Collector, South, Mr N D Agrawal, to initiate necessary action against the contractor of the MPT, due to whose negligence major inconveniences were caused to the people residing in Vasco city and also for causing heavy losses to the electricity department. It is learnt that Mr Agrawal directed the Deputy Collector and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mormugao, Mr Gaurish Shankhwalkar, to inspect the site and take necessary action against the contractor.

Mr Shankhwalkar when contacted informed that he has directed the assistant engineer, electricity department, Vasco division, Mr Haldankar, to file a first information report at the Mormugao police station, since the digging activity was undertaken in their jurisdiction. He has also asked for a report and details of damage and quantum of loss incurred due to the damage to the cables.

Mr Haldankar informed that the estimated cost of the damaged underground pipeline is being ascertained. He disclosed that the areas of Vasco city including those of police station and police quarters, surrounding localities of old Zuari hotel, Mormugao municipal market and some other parts of Vasco city were affected due to the damage to the underground electricity cables.

"The electricity department has taken up the work to restore power and also to replace the damaged underground cables," stated Mr Haldankar. However, he said that the power supply would be restored only by or evening of Thursday.

Mr Haldankar filed an FIR at Mormugao police station late on Wednesday evening against the contractor and the Mormugao police have registered an offence under section 3 of Public Property Damage Act against the contractor of MPT. Mormugao PI, Mr Suresh Gaonkar is investigating.