“Power lines will be disconnected while the cyclone makes landfall to avoid untoward incidents. The Electricity Department is ready to handle the relief works. Tangedco has stocked all equipment, materials and workers to restore supply in the areas where the infrastructure gets damaged by the cyclone. We have given priority to Cuddalore as heavy rainfall is expected in the region,” Thangamani told reporters after reviewing cyclone preparedness with Tangedco officials.
The utility has asked workers to be prepared for relief works immediately after the landfall of the cyclone and has stocked 1.5 lakh electricity poles to replace the ones damaged by heavy winds. “We have given power saws to workers to remove fallen trees,” he said, adding that workers have been instructed to repair and replace low hanging cables and damaged poles in coastal areas.
Noting how Cyclone Gaja wreaked havoc in delta districts and damaged 3.3 lakh poles, he expressed hope that the Cyclone Nivar would not cause same extent of damage. Considering the frequent damages caused by natural disasters in coastal areas of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, he said Tangedco has taken up conversion of overhead (OH) cables to underground in the coastal areas of Cuddalore district and Velankanni in Nagapattinam. “We have covered 75 per cent of the work and would complete the rest in the coming months,” he added.
Power supply would not be disrupted at Mahabalipuram even if the cyclone makes the landfall as it has UG cables, he said. But ECR stretch has OH cables, added the Minister. In Chennai, more than 75 per cent of the localities have underground cables.
When asked about the complaints that damaged poles were not being replaced, he said photos of the damaged poles may be sent to the utility’s WhatsApp number (9445850811) so that they could be replaced. “This year alone, we have replaced 60,000 such poles across the State,” he noted.