Shrinivas Kandul, head of Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) electrical department, said, “We will check the structural stability and electrical fittings of streetlight poles. Overhead cables which provide internet services will also be examined since most go over streetlights, get entangled and damage it. Such a situation can lead to accidents.”
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has also started the scrutiny of electricity poles to identify possible threats of electrocution and various other related activities.
The authorities have urged housing societies and commercial establishments to check electrical connections on their properties. It may be noted that a Kondhwa resident was electrocuted after he touched the fence of a housing society last week.
PMC officials said the inspections will be carried out with the help of ward offices. In the process, erosion of poles, damaged cables as well as switches, broken lamps and condition of other electrical parts of streetlights in the city will be checked.
The civic body is also expected to undertake a project to replace old streetlights through a tie-up with Mahatma Phule Renewable Energy & Infrastructure Technology Limited (MahaPreit). Around 7,000 streetlights have been surveyed on Sinhagad Road and will be replaced with new ones soon. Later, the project will expand to other areas for erecting new light poles and a revenue-sharing model has been designed for the project.
Sudhir Pawar, a civic activist from the Shivajinagar area, said the MSEDCL and PMC should take a lead to conduct regular checks of power cables.
“Overhead power cables are very risky and should actually be laid underground. The overhead cables also lead to rampant power thefts and illegal connections. Also, the power utility company should cover DP boxes, since most are either exposed entirely or the covers are in a bad shape.”
Activist Abhijit More said the PMC ignoring the maintenance of light poles is putting people’s lives at risk. “The civic authorities should provide details of pre-monsoon maintenance of streetlights in the city.”
Meanwhile, an MSEDCL official said they regularly inspect and monitor its power lines and poles.
The official, however, could not provide the exact number of poles or length of power lines in the Pune zone.
“Every section official of the MSEDCL regularly checks power lines,” he added.
In its press statement, MSEDCL acknowledged the possibility of accidents due to electrical structures and has advised precautions during the monsoon season.
It said, “Electrical accidents are likely to occur due to heavy rains and thunderstorms, broken power lines, streetlights, power poles, roadside feeder pillars, transformer fences, fuse boxes as well as damp electrical equipment in the house, switchboards of agricultural pumps, damp objects kept near the electrical system, materials, etc. Heavy rains and strong winds cause trees and branches to fall on power lines. Electricity poles bend and lines break and could remain hanging. Since there is a possibility of electric current flowing in such wires, citizens should be very careful.”
It further said, “Care should be taken to ensure switchboards or electrical appliances in the house do not come in contact with moisture. A special metal wire like aluminium alloy should be used instead of copper as fuse wire. Television dish or antenna should be kept away from power lines. One should not use iron on wet clothes. Care should be taken that the electrical switchboard or any equipment does not get damp. Electrical appliances should be switched off when not in use. Animals should not be tied to street lights or electric poles since this poses a severe danger to their lives.”
(With inputs from