The recent floods in Bengaluru has forced authorities to wake up to the dangers of transformers in basements, that are prone to inundation.
The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) has asked apartment complexes in Bengaluru to shift electric installations out of basements within six months.
The electric board has also issued notices to this effect. Emphasis will be laid in areas which report frequent flooding.
Speaking on the issue, Energy Minister DK Shivakumar said, “We will first identify the houses and apartments and then issue notices to the owners, requesting them to shift transformers to a floor above the basement. They'd be given six months to do so. This'll be done in a phased manner and we'll ensure all apartments and houses in Bengaluru conform to this.”
He added, “If required, it will share designs where transformers, meters and panels can be installed at a height.”
The Minister pointed out that Besccom officials are often forced to cut power supply, as a precautionary measure in several areas that are prone to flooding. “Every year, following heavy rainfall, basements of nearly 50 buildings in HSR Layout’s Sector 6 and nearly 40 buildings in Koramangala 4th Block are flooded. As a safety measure, power supply is cut and restored only after the water is pumped out and electrical installations are completely dry. Until then, residents of these buildings have to make do without electricity,” Shivakumar said.
Recently, the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) Bengaluru chief Sundar Metri had described as “dangerous”, the fact that a moderate spell of rainfall could flood most of the city.
"The rainfall received here yesterday was only a moderate one -- measuring up to maximum 3 cm in the city. But the fact that it could leave most of the city flooded, is dangerous," Sundar M Metri said on September 2.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre has predicted more rain for Bengaluru, with the city expected to receive moderate to heavy rainfall over the weekend.