Illegal mining poses threat to power towers

Illegal mining poses threat to power towers

An electricity tower on the dug-up riverbed near Anandpur Sahib.

Arun Sharma

Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 16

As illegal mining continues unabated in the district, the infrastructure has suffered a serious damage. Electricity towers here are an example of that. Sand around two 220-KV electricity towers on the Sutlej riverbed has been dug up, weakening the foundation.

The towers on the 78-km Ganguwal-Jamalpur power supply line are on the verge of collapse as sand and gravel have been dug up to a depth of 20 ft.

If the poles are felled, power supply to Ludhiana could be affected, the Punjab State Power Supply Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said.

Executive Engineer (XEN) Ajay Pal Singh said he learnt about the matter recently. When he visited the spot, he found that several stone crushers had come up in the area. A notice was issued to the management of one of the stone crushers, who denied his involvement in digging up sand around the towers, he added.

This is not for the first time that the mining mafia has damaged power supply lines.

A couple of years ago, the Powercom authorities had laid a 66-KV line from Anandpur Sahib to Kiratpur Sahib and laid the foundation of three towers, which were to come up in the Sutlej riverbed near Sangatpur village.

As soon as the foundation was laid, the mining mafia dug up sand around it. The foundation was washed away during the monsoon and the authorities abandoned the work of laying a new power line.

The XEN said, “As of now, the priority is to save two towers from falling down. The Civil Department is on the job to strengthen the foundation of the towers.”

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