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Gaps in enforcement against dangling wires to the fore as accidents rise

January 24, 2023 11:03 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:19 am IST - KOCHI

Cables laid in a haphazard manner continue to cause accidents in Ernakulam. With the authorities failing to launch a sustained crackdown, violators are having a free run. A scene from Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road in Kochi.

Cables laid in a haphazard manner continue to cause accidents in Ernakulam. With the authorities failing to launch a sustained crackdown, violators are having a free run. A scene from Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road in Kochi. | Photo Credit: H. VIBHU

The failure of enforcement agencies to launch a sustained crackdown on those responsible for dangling wires of cable TV and Internet service providers tied to electric and lamp posts has come to the fore yet again in Ernakulam.

The accident on Monday involving a 47-year-old at Chakkaraparambu after his motorbike getting caught in a cable wound up on an electric post was the third such incident reported in the district in the last one month. A 63-year-old man and his wife had sustained injuries after being snagged by a low-lying cable on Chandrasekhara Menon Road in Ernakulam South three weeks ago. A father-son duo met with a similar accident near Thevakkal recently.

Cables lying in a haphazard manner are a common sight across the city and its outskirts. Local bodies have not been able to take stringent action against those responsible for unauthorised laying of cables. Except for cutting down dangling wires at select locations, the Kochi Corporation has not been able to implement a sustained drive against violators.

“Though we had planned a sustained action, it did not take off as expected after the responsibility of removing dangling wires was shifted from the engineering wing and handed over to the health wing two months ago,” said Sunitha Dixon, chairperson of the Corporation standing committee on public works. “Cable TV and Internet service providers were asked to tag their cables as part of fixing responsibility for their lapses, but compliance has been poor,” she added.

An official of the Kerala State Electricity Board at Vennala said cable TV and Internet service providers often hang cables low and in a scattered manner, resulting in accidents, especially those involving two-wheelers. Despite issuing directives, many are still to remove old and damaged cables, he said.

Sunil Kumar, president of Kerala Cable TV Federation, placed the blame on leading cable TV and Internet service providers for not removing damaged and old wires. He admitted that tagging of cables to identify service providers had not been complete. “We have asked all our members to complete it by January 31,” he said.

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