Transco draws flak after storm

Transco draws flak after storm

The state government-owned Delhi Transco has come under the scanner of the Central Electricity Authority for suspected poor maintenance of electricity towers that carried high tension wires, 10 of which collapsed in last week’s thunderstorm.

Now, ‘embarrassed’ Delhi government officials have ordered a safety review of some 1,500 towers to check whether they are in good condition and can withstand another storm of the same magnitude as the one that wreaked havoc Friday last.

According to sources in the Delhi government, the collapse of 10 towers in the storm was a cause of concern for the central agency, which sprung into action soon after the incident.

“The CEA is going to inspect the 10 towers that collapsed and check if Transco was following the maintenance drill,” a senior official said.

Official sources said that due to the storm, the Bawana-Rohini high tension line’s five towers, Bamnauli-Papankala line’s four towers and Mandaoli-Gopalpur line’s one tower crashed.

The inspection exercise is aimed at narrowing down on suspected lapses and fix responsibility, the official said.

Transco has also launched an internal exercise to examine all its towers to find out if the squall, which saw winds of up to 90 kmph, had weakened them and made them susceptible to crashes.

The rare incident of tower collapse left large chunks of west, south-west, north and north-west Delhi paralysed. “Several colonies in these areas are yet to get normal power supply as repairs are still going on,” an official said.

Transco officials said the high tension electric lines of 400 kV and 220 kV have a network of 1,000 km in the city. For public safety, the towers are all 25 metres high.

The high tension lines bring electricity to Delhi from power plants and from the grid maintained by the Power Grid Corporation.

Transco provides electricity to private power distribution companies, which with the help of sub-stations and transformers, bring the flowing current to a low level that can be used in homes.

Delhi Transco is not only responsible for transmission of power at 220 kV and 400 kV level but also for upgrading, operating and maintaining the high voltage network.