Residents of many areas in the City are at risk due to unsafe electrical connections. Authorities claim that the necessary precautions have been taken
Powering the City brings with it various kinds of problems for the residents. One of the most important issues that needs to be looked into is safety. Slums in Hyderabad have forever been riddled with unsafe electrical connections whose dangers are further increased during the monsoons.
According to the CPDCL annual report, 628 deaths took place during 2010-11 due to electric shocks and 128 deaths have been reported during 2011-12.
With the onset of the monsoons, the situation is only going to get worse even as authorities at the APGenco claim that repair works and safety precautions of electric wiring in the monsoons have begun.
The slums of Mohammadiya Nagar in Begumpet, BS Makhtha in Somajiugda, Chintal basti in Khairtabad and other crowded parts of the City have been witnesses to incidents where electric shocks caused death or severe injury.
Shekhar, a resident at Somajiguda says, “During the rains, the drains overflow and it is difficult to walk on the roads. We are never sure of the electric wiring as it is haphazard and dangerous. Loose ends of wires keep dangling from electric pillars and we never know which one is a live wire or not.”
Torn insulation, no space clearance between roads and electric poles, mismanaged circuit connections with wires dangling at odd places, these are the recipe for a perfect disaster.
This scenario is not confined to just the lanes and bylanes of slums or residential areas. The main roads in the City too sport an occasional electric pole with open transformers and free dangling cables.
More dangerous than the rest are high tension live-wires running above makeshift houses, pavements and even business establishments.
Chenna Reddy, chief of transmission at APCPDCL says, “We begin repair works and maintenance for every monsoon two months in advance. Alternatives like underground cable laying have been taken up but that is fraught with the legal issues of clearing road space. However, we try to fix and insulate errant live wires and reroute them when they are found passing above households or dangling in the open.”
K Suresh Kumar, chief engineer of the electrical wing says, “We have rerouted and repaired electric wires in almost every area of the City. In places where we found the need for repair work, we have covered them up and provided insulation. We are hoping that this is going to be a safe monsoon.”
However, a reality check revealed that a considerable number of electric poles in the City lack maintanence.
Areas like Nallakunta, Tilak Nagar, Barkatpura and Narayanguda were found to have electric wiring exposed dangerously.
In public spaces such as theatres, traffic junctions and bus stops, uninsulated wires, open transformers are ever present, inviting the unsuspecting citizen to their death.
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