Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 11:
An open power transformer on the foothills of the famous tourist site– the twin hills of Khandagiri and Udayagiri—on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital city has turned into a death trap for the monkeys that abound in the area with over 250 of them having been electrocuted in just the last 30 months.
The power transformer has not been protected with a boundary wall or barbed wire fencing as a result of which it has become a garbage dumping yard. The monkeys jump over to collect food from the wastes and fall into the death trap.
Neither the electricity department nor the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has shown any urgency to take preventive measures to put a check on the casualties.
“The transformer was surrounded by barbed wire but it doesn’t exist anymore. Rag pickers and stray cows enter this area unhindered and a mishap could happen at any time. The authorities should take note of it and take proper measures,” a local resident said.
Thousands of tourists visit the famous Jain tourist site every day. The unguarded transformer poses a threat to their life.
“We have lodged complaints, but in vain. The administration hasn’t taken any step on this. It would wake up only after a tragic incident. It seems the electricity department is waiting for misfortune to strike,” local corporator, Raghunath Mohanty said.
The twin hills are among the three destinations in Odisha where government is planning beautification measures and light and sound shows to attract more tourists. The transformer at the foothill of the tourist point spoils the beauty of it, besides being a potent threat to precious lives.
“While illegal encroachments and shops were razed to make the tourist site look spacious and prevent it from traffic jams, the transformer standing tall on a garbage pit is taking the sheen off the famous tourist site,” local resident and social activist Balakrishna Swain said.