By Bescom’s own admission, 15 people have already died this year after being electrocuted by suspended high tension wires.

Bengaluru agency to finally start laying power cables underground
news Civic Issues Sunday, June 02, 2019 - 15:28

After several cases of electrocution, the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) is finally looking into the danger of power cables hanging precariously low in the city, posing grave threat to residents. By Bescom’s own admission, 15 people have already died this year after being electrocuted by suspended high tension wires.

BESCOM on Saturday approved the underground cabling work in the city which is set to begin in July. The multi-phased project is expected to be completed in three years and is estimated to cost Rs 5,300 crore.

The underground cabling work will be taken up in three phases. The first phase, which will begin in July will take 18 months to complete, Bescom officials say. It is expected to cost Rs 1,870 crore.

“In phase 1, work will be carried out in 22 areas. We have surveyed all the areas in Bengaluru and these 22 areas are the ones severely affected,” an official said.

In phase 1, Bescom is going to carry out work in Mahalakshmi Layout, Malleshwaram, Peenya, Koramangala, Rajajinagar, Hebbal, Indiranagar, HSR Layout, Sadashivnagar, JP Nagar, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Jayanagar, Basaweshwara Nagar, BTM Layout, Jayamahal, Yelahanka, Lingarajpuram, Girinagar, Chamarajpet, Shivajinagar, Ramamurthy Nagar and Sahakaranagar.

When the rain struck the city for two consecutive days – May 25 and 26 – over 600 trees fell due to the intensity, causing over 300 electric poles to also fall. According to Bangalore Mirror, power disruptions had occurred in Rajanakunte, Shivajinagar, Malleshwaram, JP Nagar, Rajajinagar, Hebbal, RR Nagar and in Indiranagar.

“When the rains occurred, 27 areas in Bengaluru experienced power cuts even after the rains stopped. On Saturday, several areas did not have power as KPTCL (Karnataka Power Transport Corporation Limited) was fixing high-tension cables that were cut. Bescom had to carry out maintenance work as several transformers needed repairs,” a senior official said.

Bescom officials say that by ensuring that all electricity cables run underground, the agency can cut down on maintenance costs every year, which increase especially during the monsoon.

“We have shortage of maintenance personnel and the costs are high. It was a logical choice as it would also prevent accidents and deaths,” he added.

The agency is planning to use High Definition Digging Mechanism to lay the cables underground. Rather that digging up the entire road, holes will be dug out for every few metres, officials say. “We are trying to avoid cutting down any trees for the project,” the senior official said. 



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