Meeting held with Mandya In-Charge Secretary; CESC MD inspects vandalised poles on NH-275
Srirangapatna: The Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure that all electric poles on the sides and bypasses of the 10-lane Access-Controlled Expressway between Mysuru and Bengaluru (NH-275) are well-secured before the electricity properties are handed over to CESC for maintenance.
This comes days after Star of Mysore published a report on Jan. 30 titled ‘25-ft. tall electric poles sway dangerously as thieves steal horizontal metal bars’ highlighting how thieves are stealing the stainless-steel angles (metal bars) fixed on the electric poles. As the angles have been removed, the poles dangerously sway when the wind blows.
Following the report, CESC team conducted a survey and reported to Managing Director Jayavibhavaswamy that angles of over 240 electric poles from Ramanagara till Srirangapatna have been stolen by thieves under the cover of darkness.
An exclusive inter-departmental (CESC-NHAI) meeting was held yesterday afternoon that was chaired by senior IAS officer and Mandya In-Charge Secretary Jayaram Swaroop with the CESC officials, NHAI Superintending Engineers and its technical team. It was decided at the meeting that the Mandya CESC Superintending Engineer will list out in writing all the safety measures with technical knowledge to be taken by the NHAI and the NHAI will follow them to ensure public safety.
Before the meeting, CESC MD Jayavibhavaswamy, General Manager (Technical) Lokesh, Director (Technical) Umesh Chandra and Superintending Engineer (Mandya Circle) Krishnamurthy inspected the poles from which the angles have been stolen.
“Now that all the bypasses of the Expressway are open for traffic, the theft has come to light. The poles are standing precariously and many are swaying dangerously and threatening public safety. We discussed in detail about the thefts and made it clear to the NHAI officers that safety precautions have to be taken before the Expressway is fully open to traffic and also before the electrical properties are handed over to CESC,” Jayavibhavaswamy told Star of Mysore.
“If the NHAI had asked us we could have technically guided them on the proper way to install the electricity poles. If poles are more than 50 feet, guy wires (a tensioned cable designed to add stability to a free-standing structure) must be fixed on all the four sides, once the angles are fixed, brazing or jamming (metal-joining process) has to be done so that the nuts and bolts are not easily removed by thieves,” he explained.
The electricity poles are at a height over 60 ft. and thieves have removed angles up to over 30 ft. “How will the poles withstand wind pressure in the absence of angles and guy wires,” Jayavibhavaswamy questioned. “The meeting discussed all the aspects in detail. Public safety is important. We cannot carry out repairs after the poles are charged and electricity is supplied. Tomorrow if the poles fall on people, only CESC will be held responsible. So, before that, all the anomalies must be fixed,” he added.
CESC has also asked the NHAI to prioritise the restoration works. “First, they must restore the poles where more than 30 ft. of angles have been stolen. Also, before handing over the electrical properties to CESC, all precautions must be taken and safety aspects must be covered as it will be CESC’s responsibility to maintain the poles after the warranty period (the contractor will maintain it for one year as power contract). We will have to enter the poles in our asset books and train our staff to maintain them and also, we must purchase similar poles, wires and angles in case of future repairs,” Jayavibhavaswamy said.