In a bid to bring down instances of power disruption and cases of electrocution, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has decided to carry out underground cabling work in the city.
Around 6,900 kilometres of 11kV high-tension overhead lines in the Bangalore Metropolitan Area Zone will soon take an underground route, according to BESCOM officials.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, BESCOM MD C Shikha said that laying underground cables will bring down risks and untoward situations due to tree fall and damage to electric poles. “These are the primary reasons for power interruptions which can be prevented if cables are laid underground,” she said.
At the same time, BESCOM stated that 29 most vulnerable areas have been identified to begin the project. BESCOM is scheduled to complete the first two of the four-phased project in 18 months since the time the work begins. An estimated cost of Rs 1,839 crore has been earmarked for this project. While 29 sub-divisions will be covered in the initial phase, 34 other sub-divisions will be completed in the later stages, an officer from the project section said.
However, Shikha added that the work will begin only after the monsoon.
The areas that will be covered in the first two phases include Jayanagar, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, RR Nagar, Chamrajpet, Frazer Town, Shivajinagar, Hanumanthanagar, HSR Layout, Agara, Domlur, Mahalakshminagar, Malleshwaram, Sadashivnagar, Mathikere, Yeshwantpur, Yelahanka, Jakkur, Shantinagar, Basaveshwaranagar, Jayamahal, Peenya, Nandini Layout, Indiranagar, Domlur, Nagarbhavi, Rammurthy Nagar, Sahakarnagar, and Rajajinagar.
Frequent and long power cuts have been annoying residents since mid-May as BESCOM continues to draw flak over the same. “In Bangalore power goes off as soon as the first thunder lightening occurs or it starts raining. Power doesnt come back when rain stops.Can anyone solve this riddle? someone said about inefficiency of #bescom staff. Does same happen in ur city? (sic.),” a user tweeted.
In Bangalore power goes off as soon as the first thunder lightening occurs or it starts raining.Power doesnt come back when rain stops.Can anyone solve this riddle? someone said about inefficiency of #bescom staff.Does same happen in ur city? #Bangalore#karnataka#electricity
— Mannan (@mannan_pathan) June 6, 2019
Another person tweeted that he was facing power cuts for more than 12 hours in HSR Layout, pointing out that multiple calls and tweets failed to get a response from the BESCOM team.
@NammaBESCOM no power in HSR Layout, sector 3 from 8AM till 8pm and then got the power and again it’s gone at 10.45pm and no power till now. after multiple calls and tweets from morning,BESCOM is least bothered. #Dissapointed with service
Hope you can help us sir @CMofKarnataka
— Harish.Chintakayala (@GetHari) June 12, 2019
Safety concerns have also been pointed out by many on social media and otherwise.
@NammaBESCOM been 34 hours and nobody is attending to have this restored. The electric wires are hanging on our balcony and other places in the home and its major safety issue but no action from Bescom pic.twitter.com/ueYOAMisaT
— digiplash ltd (@DigiplashL) June 8, 2019
At the same time, the death toll due to electrocution in the city has been on an alarming rise since April 2019. A total of seven deaths have been reported since then in and around areas of Bangalore city.
While BESCOM officials reiterated that special awareness programmes in schools and in neighbourhoods and societies are being held and radio advertisements and pamphlets are being distributed to curtail these incidents, the plan of cables being laid underground to replace the existing overhead lines is expected to be a relief to many.