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Almost four years after a man was electrocuted on Church Street when he came into contact with a distribution transformer, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has initiated the process of replacing and shifting around 4,000 transformers that are on footpaths across the city.
In May 2013, Manoj Patil, accompanied by a friend, was walking down Church Street. The two were headed to Chinnaswamy Stadium for a cricket match. Manoj stepped in a puddle and touched the fence of a distribution transformer and was electrocuted. His family subsequently approached the High Court of Karnataka that directed Bescom to shift all transformers from footpaths.
Initially, after the Court’s direction in 2015, Bescom said that it was impossible to shift the transformers as there was no alternative space to move them to. In 2016, a pilot project with a new transformer design was undertaken and found successful. It was then decided to adopt the new design across the city.
As part of the new design, components such as the circuits connecting the meters and LTD boxes, which take up most of the space at ground level, will be moved to a greater height on a 11 metre pole. This will ensure that pedestrians do not come into contact with these components. The me
“The work orders for the shifting and replacement have been issued. Drawings by the selected company are expected to be submitted this week. Once that is approved, work will begin,” a senior BESCOM official said.
P. Rajendra Cholan, Managing Director, confirmed this and said a time frame of 18 months had been provided to the company to finish the work. Around 116 distribution transformers will be shifted while 3,919 will be replaced with the new design,” he said.
Cases like the electrocution on Church Street are not isolated ones. In 2014, a group of three motorists suffered serious burns when a Bescom transformer exploded near the bus depot in Koramangala and spilt hot oil on them. An enquiry by Bescom found that it was an internal fault in the transformer.
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