Madras High Court has directed Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to carry out periodic inspection of junction boxes/poles to ensure they are in proper condition. If the authorities find any damage or if there is any complaint regarding damage, they should take immediate steps to carry out repairs or replace the defective junction boxes and poles within three days, the court said.

The First Bench comprising the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam passed the order on a public interest litigation petition by the Nethaji Pokkuvarathu Thozhilalargal Padhukappu Thozhir Sangam (transport workers trade union), represented by its MTC unit general secretary, R. Anbazhagan.

The petitioner said that in Chennai city, more particularly in Bharathi Nagar at Villivakkam, Thirumangalam and Annanagar, open junction boxes posed a danger.

Also, many electricity poles were in a bad condition, and the steel rods in them posed a threat to passers-by.

The electricity board filed a counter stating that pursuant to the court directions, officers were directed to carry out the necessary work on a war footing to ensure there was no untoward incident.

All the damaged junction boxes had been replaced, it added. The Chief Engineer (Distribution), Chennai, South region, TANGEDCO, filed a status report listing the locations in and around Annanagar, Avadi, Ambattur and Pattabhiram where pillar boxes and electricity poles had been replaced.

In its order disposing of the petition, the Bench said considering the steps taken by the board, no further direction needed to be issued.

However, it made it clear that the board should make periodic inspections.

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