Experts from various quarters are of the opinion that Bescom must take up active and diligent maintenance across the city. The lack of an authority to oversee the works of public utility departments also is the need of the hour, they say.

M.G. Prabhakar, chairperson, energy committee, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says, “I am unable to accept the quality standards maintained by Bescom. The excitement of implementing new projects dies out soon and the department is unable to follow up the work with the same enthusiasm.”

Y.G. Muralidharan, secretary, Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust, says, “Karnataka sees the highest number of electrocution incidents in the country. Of these, the maximum cases are from rural areas. While the authorities are to blame for the lack of maintenance, even the public does not care.”

According to Mr. Prabhakar, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) must step in situations like this and not just restrict its role to fixing electricity tariff.

Pronab Dasgupta, senior adviser and Director, TERI-Southern Regional Centre, says failures such as these are a result of a composite failure of all the public utility departments. The action must be time-bound, says Mr. Muralidharan. “The way forward is to identify sagging lines, ill-maintained transformers, etc., and take up a time-bound project to repair them.”

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