Flying kites might be a leisure activity for many, but it has become a nightmare for the power department. With two tripping this past week alone caused by kites that got entangled with transmission wires, the department is back to issuing appeals against kite flying.
Although disrupting power supply and causing damage to power equipment is punishable under the Electricity Act and the Delhi Police Act, there seems to be little consideration shown for the law as well as power supply.
“Each year power supply in several areas gets disrupted when kites flown close to the transmission equipment get entangled with the lines. Despite regular reminders people continue to flout the norms,” said a power department official.
“On Sunday and Monday several areas faced a blackout for sometime because of tripping caused by kites. These tripping cause major interruption in power supply and damage to the costly equipments. After each tripping it takes considerable amount of time to restore the power supply,” he went on to add.
On Sunday Delhi Transco Limited’s 220 kV sub-station at Patparganj tripped for about 15 minutes. This led to load-shedding of about 115 MW leading to blackout in the nearby localities. Again on Monday a 220 kV line connecting Patparganj and Geeta Colony grids also tripped for 10 minutes and the total load affected was about 60 MW.
Explaining how kites cause trippings, the official said: “The manjha used to fly kites contains metallic substances and in some cases it is made of a thin metallic wire. When these metal coated threads come in contact with a live wire they cause trippings that result in blackout of the area fed by the affected line.”
And it is not just equipment that suffers because of negligence while flying kites, according to officials, the risk to life is another danger of reckless kite flying. Officials said not being careful while flying kites can lead to injury or even death. There have been instances of people being injured by the thread that is coated with fine glass.
Reiterating the need to be cautious while flying kites, Secretary (Power) Rajendra Kumar said: “While flying kites people should stay away from the electrical installations because their carelessness can lead to major power failure, blackout electrocution or even death.”
Delhi Transco Limited conducts awareness campaigns from time to time to educate people not to fly kites near transmission lines and sub-stations. Official, however, rue that despite the awareness campaigns and laws that spell punishment for disruption of power supply, the problem persists.
“The Electricity Act stipulates that the maximum penalty that can be levied is Rs.10,000 for damage to equipment and disrupting power supply, the Delhi Police Act also prohibits kite flying near vital installations. Essential services like the metro railway get disrupted when lines are disturbed by kites, yet the public fails to cooperate with the power department,” an official said.