Saturday, January 28

Mayor mulls block meter

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Hawkers at Gariahat will have to draw power from a common meter to be set up by CESC, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Monday.

The move is likely to result in removal of the mesh of wires that hangs dangerously over hawkers’ stalls.

“The mesh of wires cannot be allowed. I have spoken to CESC. There will be a block meter from where hawkers will draw electricity,” the mayor said while spelling out his plans to hawkers at Gariahat. “There will be pipe-like structures rising from the footpath, from where hawkers will be able to draw electricity for their stalls.” An electrical engineer said block meters allowed multiple consumers to draw power from a single source.

Block meters are in use in some markets in Burrabazar, where one block meter supplies power to around 20 shops.

“If there are more takers, there will be more block meters…. The pipe-like structures on the footpath will need to be covered and protected from the elements.” An official in CESC said a preliminary discussion on the issue had been held with the civic body. “Further exploration of the proposal is neces- sary,” he said. Hakim said work to create an underground electric line for the hawkers would end by February.

A five-storey building at the Gariahat junction caught fire early on January 20 and portions of it were badly damaged. Residents of the building had said they had first spotted flames in hawkers’ stalls outside the building.

A preliminary probe by forensic experts has revealed that the fire had started from the loose end of an electric wire on the footpath in front of the building..

Source: Telegraph India

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