KOCHI: According to a recent report, over 2,000 people succumb to electric mishaps in the country every year with most of the incidents being recorded during the rainy season. For the same reason, the news of two people dying of electrocution in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday after stepping onto a splintered live electric wire lying on a waterlogged road has put the focus back on monsoon preparedness across Kochi.
While the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials have expressed their condolences to the families of the victims by terming the event as unfortunate, they are quick to delineate the slew of precautionary measures undertaken this year.
"We started pre-monsoon upkeep works as early as November 2018 for the 2019 season. The first major step involved patrolling and audit of all-electric lines, after which we identified possible hazards and defects like sagging of wires or slanting poles. Depending on this audit, we ensured all the repairs were done. The second phase of the pre-monsoon drive was conducted in March, April and May when tree branches that were either touching electric poles or the ones likely to snap in case of strong winds were chopped off. Finally, the comprehensive maintenance of lines and transformer stations was carried out.
We checked for load balancing and earthing issues too," informed Mohan Kumar, an official with KSEB.
Special quick response teams have also been constituted this season to combat cyclonic storms. These teams will act upon the instructions of deputy chief engineers of 25 electrical circles across Kerala. Each circle will form one team comprising of 30 members who will be provided with vehicles, tools, and
specialised training for emergencies.
Electricians and KSEB contractors have been issued guidelines to tackle tricky situations. The workers have been warned against conducting electric repairs during a downpour. Extreme caution has been advised while coming in contact with electric lines in the aftermath of a short circuit. Ensuring the stability of a pole before venturing to climb it has also been recommended.
Be alert, be safe
- KSEB has further released a press circular notifying the public of possible dangers that can occur during heavy rain
- Do not enter the vicinity upon noticing severed wires or broken electric poles.
- Avoid using electronic appliances like fridge, washing machine, computer, television, mixers, and grinders during thunder and lightning. Unplug adapters from switchboard sockets.
- Do not tie animals or clothesline ropes to electric poles. Avoid parking vehicles by their side.
- Do not use ladders or rods made of metal close to electric posts.
- Report low hanging wires, damaged electric posts, and fallen trees to the helpline number 9496061061.