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Cyclone Tauktae: KSEB men wade through chest-deep water to restore power, win accolades

It was raining heavily and there was heavy flow in the stream passing through the rubber plantation and paddy field at Mundamoodu in Kottarakkara. 

Published: 18th May 2021 06:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2021 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

Screenshot from the video clip that shows Santhosh and Madhu wading through water to repair a snapped 11kV line at Mundamoodu in Kottarakkara

Express News Service

KOCHI: It was raining heavily and there was heavy flow in the stream passing through the rubber plantation and paddy field at Mundamoodu in Kottarakkara. Two linemen of the KSEB risked their lives wading through chest deep water, braving strong current and inclement weather to repair the 11 KV power line that got snapped following strong winds the previous day. 

Santhosh S and Madhu E, two linemen attached to Kottarakkara East electric section of the KSEB, have won accolades as a video clip of their dedicated service went viral on social media. A few social workers led by Kottarakkara MLA-elect K N Balagopal visited Kottarakkara Vydyuthi Bhavan on Monday and felicitated the two employees for their dedication.

“On May 15, our section office was inundated with calls as power distribution was disrupted as power lines got snapped following strong winds the previous day. Around 10 transformers had dripped and it was tough time for KSEB staff to restore power. When we reached Mundamoodu near Kottarakkara, the rubber plantation and the paddy field had submerged and there was heavy flow. We waded through chest deep water carrying the ladder to reach the electricity pole.

It was tough to stay afloat. We had to hold to the trees to escape the strong flow. We completed the work and restored power by noon. It was the locals who recorded the video and posted it on social media,” said Santhosh.

Santhosh is a resident of Chavara near Kollam and has been serving the KSEB for 11 years.“Power distribution was disrupted in the entire section area and there were hundreds of calls from consumers.

We were under pressure and all of us, from assistant engineer to linemen were on the field to restore power. We were performing our duty, but the response from the public has been gladdening. Never in my life has I got such appreciation,” said E Madhu, who is a native of Mailam near Kottarakkara.

“The KSEB has suffered loss of `45 crore due to the heavy rain and strong winds that lashed the state from May 14 to 16. Hundreds of transformers were damaged and lines snapped across the state. Our staff worked day and night to restore power amidst challenging weather,” said KSEB chairman N S Pillai.“Many, like Santhosh and Madhu, risked their lives to ensure early restoration of power. I appreciate their hard work and dedication. We have restored power in 99.9 per cent areas by Monday evening,” he said.



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