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Updated: February 23, 2010 16:25 IST

Tangled kites portend power disruptions

Swathi. V
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Dangerous: A kite entangled in high tension wires in Hyderabad. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
The Hindu
Dangerous: A kite entangled in high tension wires in Hyderabad. Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

A month after Sankranti, city’s high tension lines still displays festive remnants of all hues. Though kite-flying in this season was subdued due to many reasons, one look at the power lines would makes one believe that the city had a blast on Sankranti.

Scores of torn kites tangled between the power lines have an ominous portent of power disruption for the city’s residents. Deserving special mention are the thickly populated areas in old city, Chaderghat, Maktha, Mehdipatnam, and Sanathnagar which have many instances of such hazardous kites.

Though seemingly innocuous, these objects of paper and bamboo can prove to be quite a menace during monsoons, when frequent interruptions become the order of the day.

“Tangled in the conductors, the kites, over a period of time, move along till they reach the insulators on either side of the pole. Once drenched, the wooden spine and spreaders of the kites act as conductors between the neutral and the phase wires, resulting in power disruption,” informed an official.

Often, kites tangled on the 11-KV lines, rather than the low tension lines, cause interruptions over wide area, affecting hundreds of households. Rushing to the spot in heavy rain and addressing the problem is no mean task to the officials either.

Removing the kites or restraining them from reaching the insulator is the only solution for the problem, to be carried out by the department alone. There have been instances in the past when children were grievously injured and even died while trying to retrieve the tangled kites. Adults too, in a few cases, were electrocuted while trying to remove the kites all by themselves in order to have the supply restored.

“In parts of the city, the insulators were secured by having the conductors wound with scrapped pieces of copper wires. A hook would be extended from the wires to stop the kites from moving towards the insulator. This worked wonders by reducing the number of disruptions, though not followed in all areas,” shared an official.

Nevertheless, kites remaining in the lines are always a source of worry in terms of safety, especially with respect to children. Hence, the usual method of burning the kites with a bamboo torch could be an ideal solution, the official said.

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