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Bengaluru: Over 16,500 hazardous spots in city waiting to lure residents with electric shocks

BESCOM's electric pole mishap in Bengaluru triggers concerns over 16,791 risky locations. Complaints reveal maintenance flaws, sparking inquiries into 81 electric shock cases in five years, with citizen-led social media alerts. The aged infrastructure leads to fire accidents, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts between BESCOM and BBMP for city safety.

Bengaluru: Over 16,500 hazardous spots in city waiting to lure residents with electric shocks vkp
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First Published Dec 7, 2023, 1:36 PM IST

The recent incident in Bengaluru, where a mother and her child fell victim to a BESCOM electric pole, has triggered a wave of concern throughout the city. Following the outrage among residents, BESCOM swiftly initiated repair works across Bengaluru. However, a concerning report has emerged, highlighting more than 16,791 locations in the city that pose lethal threats to unaware residents.

Numerous complaints from locals shed light on the prevalent flaws in the maintenance of electric poles during the ongoing repair activities. Issues range from hanging electric wires to easily accessible junction boxes, posing serious risks to pedestrians, especially children. Additionally, termination boxes on these poles occasionally emit sparks, raising fears of potential electric short circuits on the roads.

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The incident that stirred Bengalureans' concerns has sparked inquiries into BESCOM's routine maintenance practices. A recent report disclosed distressing statistics, citing 81 individuals suffering from electric shocks in the past five years, with a staggering 70 fatalities. Shockingly, in 2023 alone, eight deaths occurred, while 2022 saw 21 individuals suffering, resulting in 19 fatalities due to electric pole mishaps.

A recent survey aimed at identifying such electric shock hotspots in the city revealed a staggering 23,000 locations, attributed to negligence by BESCOM staff. While repairs have addressed 6,396 of these spots, citizens have taken to social media, particularly Twitter, to flag dangerous locations and alert BESCOM officials.

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The corporation's extensive power network includes 9,057 high-tension and 8,937 kilometres of low-tension overhead lines, some dating back decades. The ageing infrastructure often leads to incidents such as wires causing disturbances and even fire accidents on roads, buildings, and vehicles.

While BESCOM faces criticism for these incidents, it's crucial to note that the corporation undertakes maintenance, repair, and electric pole upkeep. Collaborative efforts between BESCOM and BBMP could potentially reduce the alarming number of electric shock accidents plaguing the city. The urgency to address these perilous spots has become a pressing concern for the safety of Bengaluru's residents.

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