In Light of Recent Electrocution Deaths, MP Pushes for Action

By San Yamin Aung 2 June 2016

RANGOON — In light of several recent deaths in Rangoon from hazardous electrical wires, a regional lawmaker on Thursday urged for more attention to be paid to the maintenance of the city’s faulty and often dangerous power lines.

“It’s dangerous for the public. People can die from being electrocuted when they step into a puddle. Power cables hang over them when they’re walking and can kill them,” Yan Aung, a National League for Democracy (NLD) lawmaker for Rangoon’s Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township, said during a regional parliamentary session.

“Such a public security risk damages the images of both the country and the government.”

Myat Ko Ko, an 11-year-old boy from Hlaing Township, was killed when he was shocked by a utility pole Tuesday night. Similar incidents have occurred recently. A 16-year-old boy from Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township was killed last week after he stepped into a puddle near a utility pole and was electrocuted, though an official has since denied that electrocution was the cause of death.

At least two other people in Rangoon have also reportedly died from similar instances of electrocution, as well as four children in Mandalay Division.

“Cables and electrical posts are in dangerous condition. Their structure is weak, their cables are very messy, and the posts [that support the wires] too easily conduct electricity. I suggest repairing power lines as soon as possible,” Yan Aung said

He suggested that regular maintenance of utility poles, skilled training of electrical workers and implementing a public awareness program would be important for the city.

In response to Yan Aung’s inquiry into improving Rangoon’s electrical system, Regional Electricity, Industry and Transportation Minister Nilar Kyaw echoed sentiments on the perilous state of the city’s power lines and pointed out steps being taken to remedy the issue.

“Power cables in Mingalar Taung Nyunt Township didn’t have insulation. The Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation is therefore working to replace the existing cables with insulated ones and to install new cables, based on the budget allowance,” she said.