Despite plans of going underground with the high tension wire, Bengaluru continues to deal with basic problem of unsafe electric pole.
Areas of the city like Koramangala, Hudson circle, Ulsoor market area, witnesses loose and snapped wires from electric poles lying on footpaths. Daily commuters of the area complain about the inconvenience while walking over these wires.
Mahima, a regular visitor of Oasis mall, said “I often visit Koramangala with my friends, it gets very risky with these wires on the road, and we don’t know which one of these is live wire. I have tripped on these lines many a time”.
The dangling overhead cable wires are a serious threat to the safety of pedestrians and motorists. In the past 2 years, 253 people have died of electrocution in the city of which 15% is because of getting in contact with live wires on the street. A BESCOM report shows a 10% increase in number of deaths due to electrocution.
Vishakha Singh, resident of Bengaluru, said “During the rainy season, these wire hinders everyday life of people. People living on road, are the worst affected in this situation. If the government plans it well, it benefits the traffic commute as well”.
BESCOM plans to underground these wires as a part of their DAS project. Maleatesh N.K, DGM of Quality standard and safety, said, “To avoid the snapping of conductors, we are putting spacers in the line. Around 3.5Lakh spacers have been provided across Bengaluru city. BESCOM has worked to convert the overhead conductors to the underground at a cost of Rs.6300 cr. in phases. In 27 subdivisions, the work for undergrounding has already begun”.
In addition to the initiative by BESCOM, Anil Bhaskaran, Chief Architect of Idea Centre Architect, suggested, “One way to save the situation, is to insulate the power cables with proper insulation. This is an imperative issue, and it needs to be addressed with priority. Rupee may not be the only cost, lives are costly. Money not spent to address these issues, will eventually cost us more with loss of lives”.
BESCOM has planned several awareness drives during September and October 2019, which includes presentation of street plays to create awareness regarding electrocution. It forecasts the city to be undergrounded with wires till 2022, until then pedestrians will have to be more alert to the dangers of live wires in the streets on Bengaluru.