By Suryash Kumar
Jayanagar, one of Bengaluru’s prime residential localities, has a shocking situation: Uncovered wires hangfrom electricity poles and junction boxes.
From 2015-16 to 2021-2022, according to Bescom, around 700 fatal accidents occurred in Bengaluru due to electrocution.
Chetan, who lives near Cool Joint in Jayanagar, said BBMP takes temporary measures, but does nothing concrete.
Pawan, who owns a shop at Jayanagar, informed The Observer: “The live wire situation is dangerous, and it must be repaired on high priority.”
Alok, who lives in J.P. Nagar, said: “I have lived in J.P. Nagar for 30 years, and have observed wires hanging from streetlights…. Wires dangling from transformers are dangerous.”
Umesh, assistant executive engineer, BBMP(electrical department), Jayanagar, said BBMP is replacing sodium vapour street lights with LED streetlights, and all wires will go underground when that happens.
“The tender process should take 40-45 days, after which work to replace the streetlights will begin,” he added. “We have daily inspections of dangling wires from streetlights. BBMP has mobile vehicles that look after maintenance. If BBMP finds bare live wires, the electricians tape them.”
Umesh maintained: “Jayanagar has around 9,000 streetlights…. the wires dangling from the streetlights are dummies. These wires don’t have power, and are disconnected. Cables or insulated cables are being drawn over poles to keep wires away from the ground.”
The Observer was told that BBMP’s LED streetlight plan has received setbacks. It is yet to finalize the entity undertaking the replacement work.
Savitha, Assistant General Manager, Quality, Safety & Standards, Bescom, said electrocutions happen because people are unaware. They don’t realise how dangerous electricity can be as it is invisible.
Another reason for electrocution, she noted, is illegal connections drawn from streetlights or other points. Sometimes even after taking all the preventive steps, people can get electrocuted because of natural calamities. Waterlogging because of copious rain can lead to earthing issues.Wires strung close together can cause earthing problems, which may lead to electrocution.
Akhila, a Bengaluru resident, was electrocuted when she lost her balance while riding a two-wheeler. She fell on a median and was electrocuted when she held on to an advertisement hoarding to pick herself up. The street was inundated.
According to a Deccan Herald report, a man was electrocuted in Hebbal when he came in contact with a live wire illegally drawn from a streetlight.
“Illegal hooking is difficult to detect because it draws negligible electricity, which is difficult for the transformers to track,” said Savitha.
A year and a half ago, BBMP and Bescom held a meeting regarding wires hanging from cables and poles. Bescom helped BBMP identify spots that are a potential danger for electrocution, but hanging livewires continue to be a problem.