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Residents groan as EEDC disconnects buildings along power lines


• President opens 120MW Molai transmission substation in N’East
Disconnection of buildings along power lines in the Southeast by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) triggered lamentations yesterday.

The distribution company had, last year, issued a statement advising her customers and the general public against putting up structures and carrying out business activities within power line’s Right of Way (ROW).But the latest action, which took officials of the company to various parts of Enugu, including the popular Independence Layout, Ugwuaji, Abakpa, Emene, among others, was in compliance with the directive by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) to distribution companies (Discos) to disconnect power supply to all structures that violate the power line ROW.

Residents of the affected areas, yesterday, saw EEDC officials disconnecting them from public supply. Some of them had however claimed that they acquired their property legitimately and without knowledge that it was power line ROW.Head of Communications, EEDC, Emeka Eze, told The Guardian that the company liaised with relevant government agencies to ensure that the NEMSA directive was carried out effectively.

“We have been disconnecting properties identified within our network to be in violation, and working closely with relevant government agencies. Some of these structures have been demolished,” he said. Eze explained that the power line ROW was the corridor for distribution and transmission, adding that as a precautionary safety measure, the mandatory clearance levels should be observed and adhered to by members of the public when putting up structures.

“The distribution company equally enumerated the various power lines and their respective clearance levels. For instance, 11 metres is to be observed on 11KV and 33KV lines (5.5 metres on both sides), 30 metres on 132KV line (15 metres on both sides) and 50 metres observed on 330KV line (25 metres on both sides),” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the Molai Electricity Transmission Substation (METS) to raise bulk power supply of 120 megawatts (MW) to the Northeast.The substation will distribute electricity on the 330/132/33KV lines to 11 towns and communities in Borno State.

Commissioning the project yesterday in Maiduguri, the president said the project added another bulk source of electricity through the Damaturu 330KV transmission line.

Buhari, who was represented by Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, said the project “has improved bulk power supply” to Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) by 120MW.According to him, the 330/132KV circuit will provide flexible power supply to Biu and Damboa in Borno, adding that the ongoing 132KV project at Molai substation would supply electricity to Monguno, Marte Dikwa, Gwoza, Bama, Kwaya-Kusar, Chibok and Uba transmission sub-stations.

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