Looming threat of transformers

Sitting transformers that dangerously dot footpaths across the City have become a big threat to pedestrians’ safety. Despite a joint drive by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to replace them with smaller ones, these electrical equipment remain in large numbers, exposed to human contact.

The two agencies had launched the drive in July 2012 to replace 372 such transformers. But with not much visible progress on the project, pedestrians are forced to stand very close to these high-tension transformers since they occupy much of the footpath space. At junctions, this can get even more dangerous. 

The ugly presence of these transformers at junctions in the heart of the City including Commercial Street, Church Street, Ulsoor, Malleswaram, endanger lives. The recent electrocution of a pedestrian on Church Street is just one instance of the danger posed. Senior citizens and children who flock to shopping areas are particularly vulnerable.

A demand has been growing among the public to either replace these transformers fast or shift them altogether from their current locations. But all that the people get as response are assurances that the project would be completed soon.

B K HAMPAGOL, Retired
Fire department official

“There are clearly laid down safety standards and procedures for the placement and maintainance of transformers. In the recent Church Street case, the safety mesh around the transformer had given way and was not maintained properly.”

SAJJAN RAJ MEHTA,
Social activist

Laying an electricity cable underground can prevent electrocution cases. But the facility will work only if there is  proper coordination among various civic agencies such as Bescom, BBMP and BWSSB, which is not the case at present.

RAHUL MUTHALALI,
Software professional

It is very risky for motorists during rains, when the threat of trees falling on electricity wires increases. Speeding up the underground cabling work is the only solution.
If they do it near the Vidhana Soudha and thereabouts, why not the outlying areas?

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