Staff Reporter

Digging for grade separator construction work at Padi to blame

  • Residents complain that contractors did not adhere to TNEB guidelines
  • A similar blackout occurred for an hour three days ago on Taramani Road

    CHENNAI: Several parts of Central Chennai from Kilpauk to Padi experienced a power blackout on Friday evening after a major feeder of 33 Kv capacity was affected by grade separator construction work at Padi, Electricity Board officials here said.

    Power supply to houses, commercial establishments and public places was cut off and streetlights failed due to the problem.

    According to senior Board officials, the contractor involved in earthwork deployed a big earthmover for digging for a pile foundation.

    Around 6 p.m., the equipment accidentally punctured the 33 kv feeder line connecting Padi and ICF. Connected lines were also affected leading to the breakdown in supply in many neighbourhoods, starting from Taylors Road area of Kilpauk, Anna Nagar and Padi.

    "The restoration work took over two hours to complete and we have now taken a decision to move the feeder cables about 240 meters away from the construction site so that the problem does not recur," the EB official said.

    An official of the National Highways Authority of India said repair work on the damaged cable was completed on Saturday.

    However, residents complained that contractors taking up the project did not adhere to the Board guidelines that required coordination with the department during such work.

    As per existing guidelines, the EB should be kept informed of earthmoving work and an engineer should be at the spot when work is being carried out.

    Sources in the Board noted that a similar blackout occurred for about an hour three days ago on Taramani Road, where road widening work was on.

    It was a 110 Kv feeder from Taramani to Mylapore that got punctured by earthmovers that day.

    As there were better alternative or back-up facilities on the I.T corridor, the damaged portion was isolated and the supply network revived sooner.

    Noting that there was coordination among the EB and NHAI units in such big projects, EB sources felt that the points agreed upon during coordination meetings should be communicated to the executing contractors.