Transformer blasts, half Bengaluru in dark

Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took an hour to control the fire. KPTCL MD N Manjula told TNIE that the breaker had an inherent fault which led to the blast.

Published: 18th February 2020 05:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2020 05:57 AM   |  A+A-

Two transformers caught a massive fire at BESCOM near Anand rao circle on Monday | Meghana Sastry

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Exam time is nearing, but thousands of students in areas around Aanandrao Circle in central parts of Bengaluru have to go without power till at least February 26 as sudden, serial transformer blasts at the area sub-station caused a power blackout on Monday.

The residents of Cubbonpet, Anand Rao Circle, Cauvery Bhavan, Gandhinagar and surrounding areas had to spend the afternoon, evening and night without power, and have to endure frequent power shutdowns till the month-end as at least two transformers have to be completely replaced. For the first time in the last 25 years, a major blast occurred around noon at the 66/11KV Anand Rao Circle sub-station, commonly called the A- station, belonging to the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL). 

According to the Corporation officials, “The prima facie investigation shows that the protection system where the breakers (the unit which controls faults and trips) are situated failed and transformer-1 exploded. The intensity was so high that transformer-2 also blew and the cables of transformer-3 got burnt.”

‘Such an incident happened here for the first time’

Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took an hour to control the fire. KPTCL MD N Manjula told TNIE that the breaker had an inherent fault which led to the blast. “Such incidents are not uncommon, but it has happened here for the first time. The 20 MVA transformer, where the blast occurred, was set up in 1996, over 23 years ago. It is not a quality issue but a technical fault,” she said. 

KPTCL officials said the transformers need to be completely replaced and it will be done by February 26 and the normal power supply will be restored only by February 27. Around 60 MW power is supplied from this sub-station to most parts of central Bengaluru. It took the department five to six hours to restore at least 40 per cent of power. 

The KPTCL asked Bescom to make alternative arrangements immediately. Bescom had to draw power from C- Station (Cantonment), Victoria, Telecom, Kanteerava, MG Road, NRS and Vijayanagar sub stations to supply power. On February 11, a fire broke out at the Ambikanagar hydel power station in Dandeli after a low-intensity blast. KPTCL officials had attributed that incident also to technical glitches. The power station was established in 1920 and over the years the transformers have been replaced. With the two incidents happening back to back, energy officials will undertake an emergency maintenance drive.  


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