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Authorities get their wires crossed here on Dasara

Mohit M. Rao
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Switch off power to prevent accidents during processions

Once bitten, twice shy: The congested roads of Neelasandra have dangerously low-hanging, criss-crossing electrical wiring. — PHOTO: MOHIT M. RAO
Once bitten, twice shy: The congested roads of Neelasandra have dangerously low-hanging, criss-crossing electrical wiring. — PHOTO: MOHIT M. RAO

Clearly spooked by the recent tragedy where two persons were electrocuted during a temple procession in Rajendranagar, authorities enforced a blackout in the area as thousands congregated on Thursday for the Dasara processions.

With more than 16 temples parading their deities through Austin Town, Neelasandra, Anepalya and the BDA area as part of the Dasara celebrations, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (Bescom) cut off power supply from 4 p.m. to up to 11.30 p.m. here.

Request from MLA

“We had received a request from Shantinagar MLA (N.A. Haris) that since more than 20,000 people were going to attend the processions, power supply needed to be stopped in the area to prevent any casualty,” said a Bescom engineer.

This letter followed fears after the incident in the nearby Rajendranagar, where two devotees were electrocuted on August 14 after the temple chariot they were pushing touched overhead high-tension cables.

Committee's decision

Pointing out that the congested roads of Neelasandra had dangerously low-hanging, criss-crossing electrical wiring, area councillor Lokesh Nayak said: “A committee formed by the traffic police, resident welfare associations, and masjid and temple representatives decided on the precaution so that no accidents happen during the celebrations.”

Reality bites

However, as the festivities faded, residents were confronted with realities of the power blackout. “We get water only every other day. But with no power on Thursday, we could not pump water to the tanks,” said Neelasandra resident Sayed Anish.

Apart from water problems in the area, shops and schools had to be closed. “With no electricity or even a light source, classes in the madrasa where I teach in the evening had to be cancelled,” said a teacher in Neelasandra. The owner of the tailoring shop off Bazaar Road said that he suffered a loss of about Rs. 2,000 on Thursday alone.

Bescom stance

With a number of such complaints reaching Bescom, the engineer said: “The processions took longer than expected to complete its route. This caused a lot of trouble for the residents of the area. From next year, we will stop cutting off power during such processions and instead ask the organisers to take alternative routes where there is no danger from low-hanging wires.”

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