Excavation by an HMWSSB contractor has resulted in a conked out cable connection between Moulali and Chilkalguda, costing the Corporation about Rs.1.5 lakh

Lack of coordination from other departments when undertaking road-digging works has proven costly for the APTransco on multiple occasions. The fresh attempt of excavation by the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board contractor which has resulted in a conked out cable connection between Moulali and Chilkalguda, will cost the corporation about Rs.1.5 lakh.

The same cable was punctured on a previous occasion in exactly similar circumstances. During May, 2011, the cable was damaged when struck by the Water Board contractor’s earth moving machine. Summer loads from this input line had to be adjusted on other feeders, resulting in widespread blackouts throughout the city.

“We wrote to the Water Board officials then, asking them to inform us before undertaking any digging works. They have not done it this time, and it resulted in another cable puncture,” informed Superintending Engineer (Operations and Maintenance) N.Bhaskar, who is overseeing the works.

Another important input line of APTransco is between Hussainsagar and Erragadda, which is inspected on everyday basis as it serves VIP areas.

Unlike Water Board, the APTransco has set guidelines about road digging works. When the road needs to be dug for cable repair and maintenance works, information about the same is passed on to a variety of departments such as GHMC, Water Board, CPDCL and BSNL, which might have their utilities underground, Mr.Bhaskar informed.

More precautions are followed while laying the cables. Depending on the stretch to be dug up, either GHMC, or Roads and Buildings, or Cantonment or NHAI are informed, and due charges are paid. Then, initial survey is conducted to take stock of visible obstacles on the stretch, followed by a detailed survey.

“As part of detailed survey, trial pits of about two metres’ depth are dug for every 100-metre road length to watch for lines of other departments. Wherever we encounter such lines, we mark the location and have an interaction with the department concerned to figure out what can be done,” informed another senior official.

After the works are done, a detailed sketch of the newly laid lines will be circulated to all the departments concerned.

On the country’s longest 220KV underground cable route between Malkaram and Gunrock, flag-posts have been planted at every joint, so that other departments will steer clear of them. In view of the extensive cable work to be taken up as part of the infrastructural improvement project for the city, radium signage along the cable routes is being mulled over as an option.

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