Chennai

Tangedco asks local bodies not to misuse electricity poles

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Practice rampant on city outskirts, say officials

Worried over the misuse of its concrete poles by various line agencies and the resultant risks, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has written to local bodies asking them not to use the poles.

Tangedco officials said the practice was especially rampant on the outskirts of south Chennai where electricity was being predominantly supplied through overhead power lines.

Apart from being used to support street lights, the poles were being illegally utilised to support cable television lines and advertisement boards.

“Such acts would cause the poles to bear load resulting in damage to them. There have been instances of poles falling, causing accidents and also posing difficulties when we undertake repairs,” said a senior official.

A few months ago, a person was electrocuted in Kovilambakkam while he was attempting to fix an advertisement board on a pole. The victim was electrocuted when he turned on the street light fixed on the electricity pole.

More than 1.5 lakh electricity poles in and around south Chennai, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts are being misused by various government and private agencies.

Expenditure up

Tangedco was forced to replace poles that are beyond repair, which was an unnecessary expenditure for the power firm.

Tangedco has been replacing hundreds of damaged and old electricity poles every year as part of pre-monsoon preparatory works to prevent accidents caused by falling poles in addition to the ones damaged by natural calamities.

A Tangedco official said the cost of concrete poles is becoming steep, each pole costing ₹7,000. Every year a minimum of 10,000 poles are being replaced.

P. Viswanathan, convenor, Chitlapakkam Residents' Welfare Association, said the Chitlapakkam Panchayat has fixed a box with an auto on/off switch for the street lights on the poles in his locality Nehru Nagar but has left it open posing a risk.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 3:14:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/tangedco-asks-local-bodies-not-to-misuse-electricity-poles/article30562723.ece

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