Friday, April 29, 2005

Will Bescom lead IT city out of the Dark Ages?

Will Bescom lead IT city out of the Dark Ages?
The Times of India

Bangalore: During every rainy season, at least one part of the city is plunged into darkness. Indeed, the slogan of the powers-that-be seems to be: “Every rain, no shine.’’

On Wednesday night, it was back into the Dark Ages for residents of Bangalore North and East. Not one, but two lines supplying power to these regions snapped due to rain-related high velocity winds.

Power officials maintained that they braved the dark, rain and slushy ground to track the problem and fix it. “Supply was restored by 1.30 am to all areas,’’ they said. But no one has the answer to the basic problem: Why is it that preventive measures cannot be taken? Why should rain automatically mean no power?

The problem identified by power officials is an innocuous piece of equipment called the jumper, which is the conductor on transmission towers. The jumper bypasses the insulation fixed to the tower and ensures continuity of current in the line.

“Clamps holding these jumpers become weak due to wind and rain. This causes arcing and the jumpers melt,’’ officials explained.

Power utilities are now trying to replace the old bolt-nut clamps with high quality ‘wedge’ ones, but these are very costly. “As per estimates, there are over three lakh jumpers in the state on 66 KV lines. The cost of replacing all these with wedge clamps will be well over Rs 100 crore,’’ a top official said.

All distribution companies have maintenance budgets. Bescom alone is expecting a revenue of Rs 4,000 crore this year. So, what is preventing the utilities from using a mere 0.025 per cent — Rs 100 crore — of Bescom’s revenue to fix these jumpers?

No one has an answer to that. But, everyone hastens to claim that “preventive measures’’ are being taken.


Post a Comment

<< Home