The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday said it hopes that heads of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (Bescom) and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will evolve a scheme to permit installation of electricity transformers on footpath without compromising the safety of pedestrians.
Also, the court directed the Managing Director of Bescom to file an affidavit on whether it can install transformers on footpaths without consent or approval of the BBMP.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj passed the order on a PIL petition by G.B. Athri, a retired Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force.
During an earlier hearing, it was contended on behalf of Bescom that at present it was not required to take permission from BBMP to install transformers on footpaths as the State government has not framed rules under provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.
However, the bench, from the terms and conditions of licence granted to Bescom pointed out that it has to follow provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, which state that immovable property vested in or under the control or management of any local authority cannot be used without permission from that authority.
The bench said that it would, based on the contention to be taken by Bescom’s MD, consider interpreting provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and the Electricity Act to find out whether Bescom is required to take consent or permission from BBMP for installing transformers on footpaths.
The court clarified that the question is not issue of removal of transformers from footpaths but whether transformers can be installed at a height of 6-7 feet on a footpath, which is the property of the BBMP, without consent from the local authority.