On Thursday evening, businessman Vishwanath was riding back home through Bhagwan Mahaveer Road, shortly after light showers, when two mid-sized tree branches fell on him. Two wires came dangerously low, but did not touch Vishwanath. Vishwanath was lucky, a cook lost his life after being electrocuted earlier on Thursday. The last time it rained heavily on September 25, a man was found dead near an electric pole in Gandhinagar, allegedly due to electrocution.
Every time the city receives heavy rain, Bescom struggles to cope with feeder faults, snapping of wires and transformer bursts, ultimately leading to hours-long power cuts and, sometimes, fatal accidents. As many as 35 accidents have been reported due to contact with live wires and electric equipment until July this year. This, even as Bescom claims that safety measures are being put in place.
G. Sheela, General Manager, Safety and Standards, Bescom, said, “While pre-monsoon maintenance majorly involves tree pruning, RMU maintenance is being taken up and spacers are being put up between lines since September 20.”
D.H. Basavaraju, Chief Electrical Inspector, said an investigation is conducted by the inspectorate after an FIR is filed. The report is submitted to the government and the Escom. It is also used as a supporting document by the police, he added.
However, Y.G. Muralidhar, convener, Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust, said Bescom alone cannot be blamed for electrical accidents. “Reasons for the accidents are well-known, but what is being done to prevent them?” he pointed out.