Bescom to launch safety awareness drive from June 1
An action plan to prevent electrocution, which was prepared about six months ago, is yet to be fully implemented by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom).
The plan was prepared in consultation with Power Research and Development Consultants, a private agency, after the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) rapped the power utility following the electrocution of an eight -year-old girl in Vijayanagar, when she came in contact with the live wire, around two years ago.
A survey, conducted as part of the action plan, identified 124 sensitive and dangerous installations where old conductors would be replaced with insulated ones, mostly in public places — crowded market places, slums and places of worship.
On the delay in implementing the plan, Bescom Managing Director P. Manivannan said though the utility proposed to float a tender for insulated cables and conductors at a cost of Rs. 360 crore, the government approved only Rs. 90 crore. “While we had floated the tender, the KERC sought a comprehensive plan for the city following which the action plan was prepared in consultation with the private agency.” The replacement of these conductors is likely to help bring down electricity-related accidents. “We did not want to take up replacement work during summer, as replacing each conductor will take a minimum of six hours. We will take it up after the monsoon season ends,” he said and added that some conductors had been replaced.
No perceptible change
According to a senior Bescom official, with the utility stressing on safety, the number of electrical accidents involving its staff had come down drastically.
However, there has been “no perceptible increase or decrease” in the number of accidents involving citizens, the official added. To ensure that this number comes down, Bescom has planned to up an awareness drive from June 1. “As part of the awareness drive, the utility has already booked 30 hoardings across the city for an entire year. Safety messages will be put up on them.”
The awareness drive that is being taken up at a cost of Rs. 3.5 crore was to have been taken up from April 1, 2013. However, with the model code of conduct in place ahead of the Assembly elections, Bescom was not able to take up the drive.