At least five cases of electrocution were reported in as many months this year in the city. Danger lurks literally at arm’s length with metres and kilometres of live wire hanging dangerously low and close to buildings and even roads, exposing the public to electrocutions. And now, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) is turning to a tried and tested but long-drawn plan of aerial bunched cables (ABCs).
A senior Bescom official said the power utility will cover 900 km in supply areas to replace the existing electric wires with ABCs at a total cost of Rs. 90 crore. The project kicked off last year following the recommendation of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), and has a deadline of 2014. Bescom officials admitted to a hiatus, citing temporary break owing to power management issues. Its start itself was delayed due to delay in “purchase procedures”.
Will be resumed
Now, the utility will get back to it again from June 15 to start replacing the overhead cables with ABCs. The project, which will cover densely populated areas first, basically entails bunching together two to four wires and encase them in insulation.
While those watching the exercise, such as M.G. Prabhakar, Chairperson of the Energy Committee of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, say the amends are a little too late, while there are others who say it is positive and absolutely necessary.
Protection for transformers?
B.G. Rudrappa, former chairman, Karnataka Electricity Board (KEB), said ABCs were the best shot at curbing accidents related to electrocution. “ABC works well, provided it is done properly. If a wire snaps, there should be provision to isolate the current,” he explained.
He, however, added that ABCs were only a part of the solution. “Steps should also be taken to provide protection to transformers.”