Friday, February 25, 2005

Bescom — a ‘cut’ above the rest!

Bescom — a ‘cut’ above the rest!
The Times of India

First road cutting or digging, then shoddy refilling.Thanks to the Accelerated Power Development Programme in the city.Yes, what you see is ‘accelerated road cutting programme’.Hemali Chhapia asks Bescom’s managing director Bharat Lal Meena as to how long the people have to put up with this ‘cutting’ edge technology.

Owing to the Bescom’s cable works, the city is dug up everywhere and there are complaints pouring in from every corner.
We are carrying out our Rs 330 crore Accelerated Power Development Programme in the city. There is immense underground cable work that is on as we are integrating the various power stations. We have been cutting the roads, but we are also filling them up as soon as the work in a particular area is completed.

The programme was supposed to end in December 2003 but to date the progress has been extremely slow. Why?
The programme should be complete by March-end this year if we don’t face problems with getting the required permissions. We have already completed 200-odd kilometres, about 70-kilometre of work is still pending.

With the completion of the APDP project, will the city have less power interruptions?
Of course. With the networking of stations, if there is a fault in the local area, power will be supplied from the other station.

There are complaints of Bescom not filling up the roads well.
We are not just filling up the roads, but also putting concrete in the portions we cut. We are spending almost Rs 7 lakh per kilometre and in some cases, we are also improving the footpath for the Bangalore City Corporation.

In the DOCK

Name: Bharat Lal Meena
Date of Birth: February 5, 1957
Address: Managing Director, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, K.R. Circle, Bangalore
Educational Qualification: M.A. (Political Science) from Rajasthan University and M.A. (Rural Development) from East Anglia University, UK

Hailing from the back-of-beyond village of Sundari in Sawai Madhopur of Rajasthan, Meena started as a clerk-cum-coin note examiner in the Reserve Bank of India, then as a probationary officer at the State Bank of Patiala and then served for a year in the Rajasthan state administrative service before he joined the IAS in 1984.

Karnataka is his second home, since he has climbed the ladder of success here. An author and a soft-spoken officer, Meena, at Bescom, is well-known as the “boss who is not bossy.’’
Meena’s book Life and Peace is all about “practical aspects of life of a person seeking peace of mind.’’
But before his stint with Bescom, Meena was Lingsugur assistant commissioner, health and family welfare department deputy secretary, KEB secretary, tourism director, woman and child welfare additional secretary, Uttar Kannada DC, mass education director and director of the steel ministry.

KALPANA KAR, former BATF member
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Bescom on its APDP prog r a m m e which Bangalore certainly needs as basic infrastructure. The city had declared a road cutting and refilling protocol in partnership with BATF outlining some essentials that must be adhered to by all road-cutting agencies to ensure minimum standard quality.

It appears like adequate focus has not been given to these processes deemed adhered to nor have they been enforced to ensure that the means of achieving APDP justify the end. Appropriate managerial capability in Bescom through sufficient training and exposure to mechanisms and systems and transparency needs to be inculcated in a programme of such high magnitude.

Meena is an officer of high repute and the task at hand ambitious and involves multiple agencies. On that basis I give Meena the benefit of doubt.


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