'Insulate cables, push them underground, make it fast!'

'Insulate cables, push them underground, make it fast!'

Forty-two year-old mechanical engineer, Vivek Ramachandran thought twice about buying a new home in Jayanagar.

Reason: He noticed a dangerously low-slung high tension wire that was almost touching the balcony of his prospective home. “I was horrified when I saw the wire dangling very close to the balcony. This is a safety hazard for people who live in residential areas. We need some out-of-the-box thinking to solve this problem. Insulating the wires can be a short-term solution,” he says.

Vivek is not alone. High tension power lines, which are almost a hand's stretch away in some residential areas in the City, is a serious safety hazard. If these wires snap due to heavy winds or rain, the high voltage can electrocute a person.

“There have been many cases where people have been electrocuted after coming in contact with a snapped wire. Things get worse during monsoons when wires snap often and people have to make calls to the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) to fix the situation,” explains Vivek.

Shivaguharaman, Vice President, Someshwarapura Residents’ Welfare Association draws attention to another problem during the rainy season: When there is a heavy downpour and gusty winds, tree branches fall on the wires and some of these wires snap and dangle dangerously low. “A few months back, we had heavy rains and a very heavy branch of a tree fell on the wire. The wire snapped post midnight and started emitting sparks. We had to call the Bescom immediately and ask them  to cut power supply to avoid any untoward incident,” he recalls.

This problem, he stresses, should be addressed urgently so that residential areas could be safe from such dangerous hassles.

“We can cut tree branches but then felling of trees is not a long-term solution. The City lacks a proper infrastructure plan. There needs to be some fool-proof technology to solve this problem,” says Shivaguharaman.

Meenakshi Shankaran, a teacher at a private school in Nandini Layout, draws attention to the frequent fatalities due to people accidentally coming into contact with live high and low tension wires.

“Something drastic needs to be done. This is a serious threat to safety. The government needs to look at alternative routes for high tension wires or at least make sure they do come up in residential areas,” she says.

She suggests that insulating the cables could be a solution. If the wires are insulated and made stronger, it may prevent them from snapping so often. But in the long-term, may be a well insulated, waterproof underground network of these wires could be the ideal solution, she adds.

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