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Updated: October 11, 2009 19:49 IST

KSEB `negligence’ posing threat to human lives in Central Travancore

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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`GREEN’ HAZARD: A power transformer of KSEB and transmission lines
above covered with vegetation, posing danger to the local residents as
well as the passersby, near the municipal market in Thiruvalla.
Photo : Leju Kamal
`GREEN’ HAZARD: A power transformer of KSEB and transmission lines above covered with vegetation, posing danger to the local residents as well as the passersby, near the municipal market in Thiruvalla. Photo : Leju Kamal

Failure on the part of Kerala State Electricity Board authorities in properly undertaking the clearing of undergrowth and other vegetation touching various power transmission lines have been posing threat to human lives in many parts of Central Travancore.

Authorities of each electrical section attached to KSEB is supposed to clear the transmission lines by cutting the tree branches growing in its close vicinity as well as the undergrowth in every six months.

But, tree branches dangerously hanging over live power lines has become a common problem posing threat to human life in this part of the State.

At many places, electric posts are covered with creepers amply exposing the criminal negligence on the part of the officials concerned in the proper upkeep and maintenance of the power transmission system. As many as nine people were electrocuted in separate incidents of short circuit in Pathanamthitta district and in

the adjoining Chengannur electricial sub-division in Alappuzha district in the past two months.

No proper upkeep

Lack of upkeep and maintenance of the power transmission system has been leading to frequent flashing of the Air Blast switches of transformers. Flashing of low quality insulators during rains also leads to power failures.

Avoidable disputes over `jurisdiction’ and `boundary’ issues raised as a `blame-trading’ exercise by KSEB employees attached to the Thiruvalla and Kallisserry electrical divisions that come under Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts too allegedly leave the hapless power consumers at the receiving end.

Disobedience alleged

There were also allegations of disobedience by the field staff attached to various KSEB electrical section offices causing inordinate delay in the repair and maintenance works.

In many cases, officers, mostly women, have been reportedly put in a difficult position allegedly owing to the `negative’ trade unionism and `political patronage’ enjoyed by the staff working under them.

Dr Thomas P.Thomas, academic and environmentalist, said it was high time KSEB authorities ensured proper upkeep of the power transmission system and safety of the people.

He said KSEB authorities are also supposed to ensure uninterrupted power supply to the consumers. Strict disciplinary action should be initiated against the erring staff, he added.

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