Over 1200 electricity poles damaged in Kodagu district; acute shortage of linemen affects restoration work

There are only 235 among the total 638 sanctioned posts of linemen in the district. The remaining 403 posts are lying vacant.
Last Updated : 07 July 2024, 16:25 IST

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Madhikeri: The loss incurred by the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) due to torrential rains and gusty winds in Kodagu district has been substantial as the continuous downpour damaged a large number of electric poles, transformers and transmission lines.

More than 1,200 electricity poles were damaged in the district during the past three months.

The CESC is also facing acute shortage of linemen as there is no sufficient staff to do the work.

According to the electricity consumers, the government has not done enough to empower CESC so that the company could take up the restoration works.

In a recently held meeting of KDP, a committee member pointed out that there are only three linemen in the Napoklu region. CESC Executive Engineer Anitha Bai too, tried to draw the attention of the government towards the staff shortage.

CESC personnel travel in a boat to reach out to the areas hit by power disruption.

CESC personnel travel in a boat to reach out to the areas hit by power disruption.

Credit: DH Photo

The consumers alleged that no earlier government has made 100 per cent recruitment in CESC. At the least, the posts of linemen, who play an important role, could have been filled, they say.

However, the district in-charge minister N S Bhosaraju did not respond to the demand of appointment of necessary staff. He directed the concerned authorities to ensure the restoration of power supply within 24 hours of disruption. No officials spoke on the appointment of staff.

Meanwhile. the remaining linemen have been risking their lives to replace snipped electric wires amid rains.

There are only 235 among the total 638 sanctioned posts of linemen in the district. The remaining 403 posts are lying vacant. As about 62 per cent posts are vacant, it has been difficult to restore power supply in time, CESC officials say.

Compared to the previous year, 40 linemen are less this time. To speed up the work, 30 linemen are sourced from Mysuru, Mandya and Hassan districts on rotation basis.

Linemen from outside districts are unfamiliar with the landscape of Kodagu and are finding it difficult to work under extreme weather conditions.

Due to work pressure and mishaps, three linemen were injured on duty.

However, people blame the linemen for not arriving on time.

A linemen, based on the condition of anonymity, said that they wear raincoats while repairing the electric lines on the poles. Also, they clear the fallen electric poles and transport new poles. In some areas, local people lend a helping hand while in some other locations they just stand and curse the department.

Many CESC personnel do not wish to come to Kodagu on transfer, due to this reason, even though Kodagu is considered to be a haven for tourists.

If attractive pay packages are offered by the government, linemen and other personnel may come to Kodagu, a staff said.

Published 07 July 2024, 16:25 IST

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