The Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs) of the agency, Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, who spoke to our correspondent on Friday, warned that occupants of structures under transmission towers, which are illegal, risk death either through the disease or an accident.
He said, “People who stay under or around the transmission lines are susceptible to having cancer. For a facility that carries 132KVA/330KVA, it is very dangerous to live or stay around it. The radiation from the high tension cables makes the environment dangerous to health.
“Medical personnel have told us that electricity is a major source of radiation; we are talking about a very high radiation. If you use an umbrella made with iron under such cables while it rains and you will feel the radiation pulling it in your hand.”
Ifabiyi further said, aside the radiation, the poles could fall leading to loss of lives and properties.
He identified areas like Ipaja, Akungba and Adelabu in Surulere, Egbin in Ikorodu as places where crisis was imminent due to large number of illegal structures under high tension cables.
Ifabiyi said, “The kind of electricity you find on the facility is not one that shocks like that in our homes but one that burns the victims instantly.
“Unfortunately, under this kind of facility you will find mechanic workshops, kiosks, markets and high profile residential buildings. Even, some people have built schools in such a dangerous place.”
The TCN spokesman explained that aside the health risks, the agency had acquired the right of way for such facilities. According to him, structures found under high tension poles would be considered illegal and an encroachment.
He said the agency would begin to prosecute defaulters in 2013. He said while the agency was not legally empowered to demolish such structures, he said those identified would be reported to relevant envirosnmental agencies for demolition.
The Chief Executive, TCN, Mr. Olushola Akinniranye, had also warned against scooping sand under transmission towers and electric poles. He said this could cause their collapse.
He warned that people found scooping sand or trading under electric cables were endangering their lives by such acts.