Sunday, August 02, 2009

Watch out for these CORRIDORS of power

Watch out for these CORRIDORS of power
Open Wires Make Sidewalks Dangerous; Kids Most Vulnerable
Deepa Bhasthi | TNN

Bangalore: If Jack and Jill from the old nursery rhyme were to tumble down a hill in the city today, they would stand high chances of getting nasty shocks from colourful wires that pop out on sidewalks. They could also get entangled in cables and abandoned wires that hang precariously from trees and buildings.
If you walk with an eye up to avoid the dangling wires, you would step on the open and gaping ones below, and vice versa. With the monsoon and possible leakages from open wires, the dangers these pose grow manifold.
From morning walkers to schoolchildren to other pedestrians and even street dwellers, every road user is in danger of getting shocks from these wires. Residential areas are among the worst hit. In the bylanes of crowded localities like Shivajinagar, residents are not bothered about who the wires belong to. There are cables, low-lying electric wires and street-lighting ones. There are also wires from ongoing repair work along roads.
Anil Kumar, member of the Federation of Resident Associations, Ejipura, said space constraints have led to electric wires running close to buildings. “Residents themselves are to blame for extending their balconies so much. The wires are close to balconies and some of them hang rather low,” he says. “Some areas have wires that can be touched just by extending an arm, increasing danger to children, especially. When wires are installed, they run tight but with time they begin to sag and hang low. They must be tightened. We have alerted the authorities,” he added.
Bescom swiftly passed the buck to other civic authorities. MD Tushar Girinath said when installed, their wires are secure and not hanging about. “None of our wires is left loose or open. But there are street light boxes which often have loose wires hanging out. Other civic authorities might have wires popping out on sidewalks and cables hanging on to roads, but most electric wires are secure,” he added.
BBMP officials from the street light maintenance division insisted that they were closing wires from one side, using laminated plastic sheets. Blaming street dwellers and ragpickers for tampering with street light boxes and leaving wires open, they said that in places like Vittal Mallya Road, photographs of work being done were taken and wires were being closed from one end. The floating population is also blamed for constantly tampering with the wires.
The BBMP insists it is doing its work. Meanwhile, in a crowded street in an area like Chickpet, a worried mother is telling her children to cross the road to the other side when they see an open wire. And praying that they follow her advice...


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