BENGALURU: Open electricity supply wires, dangling dangerously, will soon be a thing of the past as the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) is set to embark on an ambitious project of getting rid of them.According to a BESCOM official, 11 kV overhead lines will be replaced with covered conductors at an estimated cost of `100 crore.
The project, which is currently in the technical proposal phase, is expected to be completed in the next two years covering a length of 1,600 km of lines in Bengaluru and surrounding areas that come under BESCOM’s jurisdiction.“The major aspect is safety of people who live around these lines. We are looking at replacing the current lines in congested areas and in areas which have lakes, rivers or railway and road crossings,” the official said.
The decision to convert these lines was taken at a recent board meeting where Director (Technical) K Siddaraju explained that installing covered conductors was faster and cheaper than the other alternative of underground cables — the installation of which could pose problems in crowded localities.The covered wires, once in place, are also expected to drastically reduce the number of power outages during rains. A very common reason for power cuts in the city is wind causing the exposes wires to brush against each other leading to outages.
“There will be no interruption by contact with tree branches and no faults with short duration touching of phase conductors during windy days. The lines will also be commissioned faster and accidental touching of these wires in crowded areas will also not pose any problem,” the official said.The city’s electricity distribution network, operated by BESCOM, is notorious for its power outages owing to faults, especially in the monsoon months where incidents of tree/branch fall and wind are reported regularly.
Covered conductors will also be cheaper than the aerial bunched cables (covered cables bunched together) option which was explored by BESCOM a few years earlier. A new design, which will arrange the covered lines one above the other instead of the present design which has the lines side by side, will also be adopted. A total of 1,600 km of cabling, covering 533 km of route length, will be installed over the next two years. “We have asked for technical specifications and drawings which have to be submitted after which an estimate will be worked out. The work will be completed within two years,” the official said.
However, not all parts of Bengaluru will be covered as per the current plan which only targets high risk and congested areas.
ADVANTAGES OF COVERED CONDUCTORS
They protect birds from getting injured
Safer for humans and animals which are at the risk of coming in contact with live exposed wires
Service calls will be reduced
Cheaper, faster stallation