Wet basements give BESCOM the jitters

Faced with the hassle of meters and transformers submerged under rainwater in apartment basements, Bescom has decided to serve notices to such apartments to shift their meters to higher floors.

Published: 08th September 2017 02:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th September 2017 10:25 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Faced with the hassle of meters and transformers submerged under rainwater in apartment basements, Bescom has decided to serve notices to such apartments to shift their meters and/or transformers to higher floors.

Addressing the media on Thursday, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar said that basements of nearly 50 buildings in HSR Layout 6th sector and 40 buildings in Koramangala 4th block get flooded every year during monsoon. “The meters, panel boards and sometimes even the transformers are installed in the basement and we have a tough time repairing them.

The residents too don’t have power until these are dry. So we are identifying such apartments and issuing notices to them. We will give them about 6 months time to shift them to the ground floor or above,” he said. As a precaution, Bescom usually switches off power during waterlogging and restores connection after three days.

He also said that they would focus on areas that get waterlogged and then serve notices to apartments in other areas, where there is a similar set up. “Bescom rules do not allow for such installations and officials will start conducting a survey. We have discussed this extensively and decided to issue notices to them,” he added.

He added that residents can use the design prepared by Bescom for installation of meters and transformers. Asked about expenses incurred for shifting the installations, Shivakumar retorted, “Didn’t the court tell us to shift the transformers from pavements? What choice did we have? We had to do it. It is the same.”

Model villages

A total of 946 villages have been selected for the Belaku grama (model villages) programme, where five villages in each Assembly constituency will be identified and one of them will be turned into a model village. These villages should have a maximum population of 2,000 and will get three phase network. They will also receive LED or solar lights with timers and also receive 24 hours of power. While reducing power wastage, these villages will also see 100 per cent billing. The project is expected to cost `378 crore.

Tenders for emergency power purchase

While the storage capacity in reservoirs is finally increasing, the Energy Department has decided to call for tenders for supply of 1,000 MW of power for emergency purposes. Out of the this, 500 MW would be supplied from the southern grid and 500 from the all India grid. As of now, the demand is roughly 7,500 MW to 8,000 MW a day, but will increase to above 10,000 due to festival season.

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