No power for 21 hours in parts of Vasco as gas line workers damage cable | Goa News

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Vasco/Panaji: In another underground cable puncture incident, Vasco, Baina, Mangor, Sada, Varunapuri, Gandhi Nagar and Shantinagar were without power for about 9 p.m. on Thursday after a gas pipeline contractor accidentally damaged three 33 kV underground cables. supplying electricity to Vasco and its surroundings.
Vasco Electricity Department Assistant Engineer Sanjeev Mashelkar said three underground cables were damaged by an underground gas pipeline contractor, near the Borges building in Vasco, while they were digging work for laying the gas pipeline.
The department filed a complaint with the police and said the pipeline contractor was instructed to detect the cables and only after that to continue digging to prevent further accidents, Mashelkar said.
The outage affected around 40,000 citizens as the two 33 kV cables in addition to a back-up/standby cable that supplies power to the Harbor and Bogda substations were breached.
“We would have immediately supplied an alternative power supply, but the third cable which was kept in reserve was also pierced by the contractor and we were left helpless,” said a staff member from the electricity department.
A similar blackout occurred last month in Panaji when digging work caused underground power cables to be punctured.
There have been several instances where the Department of Electricity’s expensive underground infrastructure has been damaged by contractors carrying out various works over the past few years, putting the department down and inconveniencing thousands of citizens and businesses.
“The electricity service was not informed of the work by the contractor. Horizontal drilling work was underway at midnight when our three cables were punctured,” said executive engineer Canuto Godinho.
“Somehow we managed to supply electricity to certain areas of Vasco via overhead lines, but people in other areas suffered,” he said.
A similar incident by the same contractor took place recently in Chicalim, following which the department had asked the contractor to keep them informed of any digging work.
“We weren’t informed. We would have shown them the way to the cable,” Godinho said.
The connection of perforated underground cables is a long and expensive operation. Labor costs between Rs 5 and 10 lakh to join a single damaged cable and the whole operation of finding the fault, digging the area and removing the cable, cutting and then joining takes around 8 hours, officials said. .
But even 20 hours later on Thursday, many area citizens were still in the dark and no cables had been completed. Although the cable was drilled at around 1 a.m., the specialist contractor was only able to begin full-fledged work at 7 a.m.
Home users were given preference over commercial users when the department tried to provide an alternative supply.
The rain hampered the work and a small tent had to be erected.
“Despite reminders and letters, the excavations were carried out without informing us, causing enormous losses to consumers and the government,” said an engineer with the department.
“All public services must coordinate with each other, otherwise it will keep repeating itself. There is no discipline in public services and everyone thinks it is their right to dig the road. In In this case, the departments are helpless and must fight, and it is the public who must bear the brunt,” said a Vasco-based engineer.
“An order with a strict standing instruction should be issued to all utilities to adhere to this. They must obtain an NOC from the department before digging the road,” the engineer added.
The road is the only access where all cables are laid and the state does not have dedicated cable trenches.


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