Transformer centre set up four metres underground in Malleswaram
The underground transformer was earlier on the footpath, blocking the pedestrian way and posing a threat to citizens.
BENGALURU: In a first in India, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) in association with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has set up a distribution transformer centre under a footpath in Bengaluru’s Malleswaram ward.
Bescom and BBMP officials said the project is purported to transform the power distribution sector as the move not only helps improve the aesthetics of the city but also ensures citizens have a safe and obstacle-free footpath. The underground transformer was earlier on the footpath, blocking the pedestrian way and posing a threat to citizens. The transformer is stationed 4 metres below ground level and can be accessed through two metal doors. It has stationed a 500kVA capacity transformer with eight-way solid-state ring main units (RMU) and has a cast iron earthing grid. The underground station has a 1HP submersible water pump, which is said to automatically turn on and drain out from the transformer unit, in case the underground station gets flooded. It has automatic temperature and humidity monitoring systems, UPS, lighting and ventilation systems.
Bescom engineers told TNIE there were many challenges in shifting the transformer underground. However, its novel design prevents electrical equipment from experiencing severe climatic conditions, including storms and high temperatures, increasing reliability and the transformers’ lifespan, they added. Speaking on the sidelines of its inauguration, Energy Minister KJ George said: “Bengaluru has around 300 transformers which are hazardous. The cost to shift one transformer underground is around Rs 2 crore. While we do not have enough funds to shift all of them underground, steps will be taken to shift the hazardous ones wherever feasible.”
As there is hardly any place available in Bengaluru, upcoming sub-stations will be set up underground, George said. Thermal power generation to end stating that the demand for power in the state is similar to summer, George said the state is facing a shortage of 17 million units and is looking to the skies for rain to strengthen its hydel sources of power.
LOAD SHEDDING TO START?
Replying to media questions on the sidelines of the event that the many parts of the city are witnessing power outages, George said, “We have not started any load shedding yet. If we do so, we will announce it officially. The power outages could be due to maintenance works taken up by Bescom.” “The state is facing deficit rain, and the demand for power is similar to summer. We are already purchasing power to the tune of Rs 40 crore every day. As there is huge demand for power across India, purchasing more power is also difficult,” George said, hinting that there may be load shedding in the coming days. Malleswaram MLA Dr CN Ashwath Narayan said citizens should not be inconvenienced due to power shortage and suggested that to tide over power shortage, the government should not hesitate to purchase power.