In Committee on Finance. - Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 1934—Committee and Final Stages.

Sections 1, 2 and 3 agreed to.
SECTION 4.
(1) For the purpose of further developing the water-storage capacity of Lough Derg, Lough Ree, and Lough Allen on the River Shannon, the Board may undertake and execute the works (in this Act referred to as the scheduled works) generally described in the First Schedule to this Act, and for the purpose of such undertaking and execution the Board may do all such things as are reasonably necessary or proper therefor or incidental thereto.

I move amendment No. 1:—

In sub-section (1), page 2, line 39, to delete the word "and" and after the word "execute" to insert the words "and operate," and in page 3, line 2, to delete the word "and," and after the word "execution" to insert the words "and operation."

This is a verbal amendment designed to make it clear that the Board can operate the works when constructed.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 5, 6 and 7 agreed to.
SECTION 8.
(4) The maps, plans, and books of reference to be deposited under this section shall be deposited at the head office of the Board in the City of Dublin, and also, in the case of maps, plans, and books of reference relating to any of the scheduled works or to any property south of the bridge crossing the River Shannon at the northern end of Lough Derg and known as Portumna Bridge at the office of the Board or some other convenient place in the City of Limerick, and, in the case of maps, plans, and books of reference relating to any of the scheduled works or to any property north of the said bridge, at a convenient place in the town of Portumna, and all such maps, plans, and books of reference shall remain so deposited until the completion of the scheduled works to which they relate, and while so deposited shall be open to inspection by any person free of charge at the place of deposit between the hours of ten o'clock in the morning and four o'clock in the afternoon of every day except Sundays and bank holidays.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In sub-section (4), page 5, line 47, after the word "Portumna" to insert the words "or at such other place or places as the Board may, with the approval of the Minister, determine," and in line 53, after the word "except" to insert the word "Saturdays."

This is a verbal amendment also designed to enable the Board to deposit the documents at any convenient place instead of the place set out in the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 8, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 9.

I move amendment No. 3:—

Before Section 9 to insert a new section as follows:—

Neither the Board nor any contractor executing works under this Act shall by virtue of this Act acquire, enter on, remove, or otherwise interfere with any lands, premises, buildings, works, plant, materials, or other property of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs or erect any works or do any other matter or thing which in the opinion of the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs would obstruct, delay, hinder, or otherwise injuriously affect the due execution of the public services of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

This is designed to protect the interests of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. It is similar to the corresponding section in the Shannon Act of 1925.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:—

Before Section 9 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) The scheduled works shall, while in the exclusive possession and control of the board, be exempt from assessment for poor rate and also from assessment for any other rate made by a local authority.

(2) In this section the expression "local authority" includes (in addition to the meaning given to it by the Principal Act) any body of persons having power under an Act of the Parliament of Ireland or any local or personal Act of the United Kingdom Parliament or any private Act of the Oireachtas to assess and levy a rate on land or on persons in respect of their occupation of land.

This is an amendment designed to effect the same exemption from rates in respect of these works as was effected by the Shannon (Supply) Act, 1927.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:—

Before Section 9 to insert a new section as follows:—

If and whenever the execution of any of the scheduled works under this Act involves the diversion, removal, or other interference with any public road or bridge the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) where the execution of the scheduled works involves the closing of the road or bridge to traffic the board shall construct and shall maintain while such road or bridge is so closed to traffic a temporary road or bridge in the same or some other convenient situation sufficient to carry traffic of such quantity and character as normally such road or bridge;

(b) the Board shall at or before the completion of the scheduled works either restore the road or bridge to its former condition or construct, after consultation with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health, a new permanent road or bridge in the same or some other convenient situation sufficient to carry the like amount (in quantity and character) of traffic as the original road or bridge was able to carry and not substantially less convenient in gradient and curve than such original road or bridge;

(c) where the board constructs a permanent new bridge and such bridge confers substantially greater advantages on the public of any county or urban district than the original bridge, by affording an improved means of communication or otherwise, the board shall certify the cost of such new bridge and the Minister for Local Government and Public Health shall certify what part of such cost in his opinion ought reasonably to be borne by the council of such county or urban district, and thereupon a sum equal to the part so certified of such cost shall be raised by such council as part of the expenses of the maintenance of county or urban roads (as the case may be) and shall be paid by such council to the board;

(d) if any doubt, dispute, or question shall arise as to whether the board in the construction, maintenance, or restoration of any temporary or permanent road or bridge pursuant to this section has complied with the provisions of this section, or as to whether a permanent new bridge constructed by the board confers substantially greater advantages on the public of any county or urban district than the original bridge, such doubt, dispute, or question shall be decided by the Minister for Local Government and Public Health whose decision shall be final.

This is also a section similar to that in the Shannon Act of 1925. It provides that where a public road or bridge has to be closed, because of the execution of these works, the Board shall construct a new road or new bridge in the same or some adjacent place. If the new road or bridge confers substantially increased facilities on the district, the question of a contribution from the local authority arises. It is provided that the contribution shall be paid, any dispute in that connection being determined by the Minister for Local Government as representing the local authority in the matter.

Amendment agreed to.
Sections 9 to 15, inclusive, agreed to.
SECTION 16.
(1) Whenever the Minister is satisfied, on the application of the Board, that the erection of buildings or of a particular class or particular classes of buildings under or within a particular distance of any particular transmission wires involves risk of injury to the public or to such buildings or the occupiers thereof and that the removal of such transmission wires to another site would impose unreasonable expense on the Board, the Minister may, if he so thinks fit, by order (in this Act referred to as a building prohibition order) prohibit the erection of any building whatsoever or any building of a specified class or specified classes under or within a specified distance of such transmission wires.

I move amendment No. 6:—

In sub-section (1), page 8, line 40, to delete the words "impose unreasonable expense on the board" and substitute the words "involve unreasonable expense or substantial technical difficulty."

This, in a sense, is a verbal amendment designed to delete these words and to substitute the words set out. There might be cases in which alteration of the lines would involve technical difficulty more than a matter of expense, and it is necessary to have this safeguarding clause in.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 16, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 17

I move amendment No. 7:—

Before Section 17 to insert a new section as follows:—

(1) No person shall erect or construct or begin to erect or construct any building or structure of which any part is within or projects over or will, when such building or structure is completed, be within or project over the relevant area of any transmission wire unless he has, at least two months before beginning such erection or construction, given to the board notice in writing stating his intention to erect or construct such building or structure and stating all relevant particulars of such building or structure.

(2) Every person who erects or constructs or begins to erect or construct any building or structure in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding £50 together with a further fine not exceeding £1 for every day during which such building or structure or any part thereof continues to be within or to project over the relevant area of any transmission wire.

(3) In this section the expression "relevant area of any transmission wire" means the area with 25 yards on either side of the straight line joining the centres of the bases of any two consecutive posts, pillars, or other erections supporting such transmission wire, and the expression "transmission wire" means a wire or line carrying electricity above ground and forming part of the transmission system or of the distribution system.

This amendment is necessary, as the Board represented that they may not be aware that a building is about to be erected in a manner which would be prohibited under the Bill. This section requires two months' notice of the intention to build, and it also defines the danger area.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 17, as amended, agreed to.
FIRST SCHEDULE.
Works Authorised to be Undertaken.
The raising of the level of the water in Lough Derg from 110 (one hundred and ten) feet O.D. to 112 (one hundred and twelve) feet O.D., and for that purpose altering the weirs at Parteen Villa and Meelick, raising and extending the embankments between Parteen Villa and Lough Derg and between Lough Derg and Meelick, extending the protective works for the railway line at Killaloe, and executing divers other works.

I move amendment No. 8:—

In paragraph 1, page 10, line 3, to delete the words "The raising of" and substitute the words "Making provision for controlling," and to delete the word "from" and substitute the words "between the limits of," and in line 4, to delete the word "to" and substitute the word "and."

We are changing the words "The raising of" to the words "Making provision for controlling" and the reason for the amendment is that the intention is to vary the levels from time to time, by means of sluices, between 110 feet and 112 feet. As this Schedule stands at the moment, it might be held that the only power of the board is the power of raising the level to 112 feet, and it is necessary to make it clear that they can vary the level between 110 and 112 feet.

First Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Second Schedule and Title agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments.
Agreed to take Final Stages now.
Bill passed through Final Stages.