Red Gold

Two office colleagues came in later than usual this morning with another transportation tale of woe. Train services were cancelled and people heading towards the city were left to use overcrowded buses and trams. Public transport users in this city had to deal with late and cancelled trains in the past with a myriad of excuses coming from Connex. Flooding, signalling problems, lack of drivers and faulty trains were only some of the explanations put forward by the company to explain their spotty service. So what’s different this time?

This time, Connex may not be entirely to blame as thieves helped themselves to overhead lines used by the rail. These lines contain copper wires and with copper prices soaring worldwide, the thieves risked getting electrocuted by high voltage live wires just to make a quick buck. The first time I heard of stealing electric cables for the copper was when typhoon Milenyo struck Manila in October. Power lines downed by the typhoon were also stolen by thieves then, even electric poles were not spared. Consumers were the ones who suffered having to go without electricity for several days as the electric company struggled to replace everything.

It seems like everything could be sold for a price these days and as long as there’s a market for it, thieves would risk life and limb to get it. However, it is not only simply copper wires that these thieves are stealing, it is also the time and productivity lost by thousands affected by their selfish act.

Published in: on November 22, 2006 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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