Blackouts hit Lae as vandals burn pylons

Lae News, Normal

Report and picture by EVAH BANIGE

SEVEN PNG Power Limited (PPL) poles were set ablaze last week and over the weekend, disrupting power supply to villages along the Lae-Nadzab route in Morobe province.
PPL workers believe it was the work of the villagers who were facing the brunt of their actions.
PPL said yesterday that power would not be restored to the more than 100 users until the culprits were brought to justice and had paid for the damages.
The bill was estimated to cost K50,000.
It would cover the cost of the replacement of the seven 11kV distribution line poles that were burnt and the replacement of steel poles.
The wooden poles had holes drilled into them with kunai grass lit and shoved into the wood causing the pole to burn.
Three of the seven poles are standing with barely an inch of wood.
Another was still burning and had tilted when inspected by PPL workers yesterday morning.
The wooden power poles were distribution lines and were set ablaze by people living within the vicinity of Yalu and Muya.
PPL Momase acting regional manager of operations, Watson Naso, yesterday issued a notice to Yalu villages and the public informing them of the power cut.
Mr Naso was accompanied by electrical manager Ronnie Kopi.