After four passengers were electrocuted when a private bus they were travelling came in contact with a live wire hanging low near Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) directed field officials to inspect the areas under their jurisdiction to ensure vertical clearances of low-tension and high-tension lines were maintained as per the Central Electricity Authority Safety Regulations.
“In recent years, there are many instances of electrocution of the general public often resulting in fatal accidents. This is mostly due to the fact that snapping of conductor and inadequate ground clearance due to low sag. This results not only in the loss of lives but also create a bad image about Tangedco among the public leading to agitations,” said the instruction issued by the chief engineer (Planning and Resource Centre) dated January 13, a day after the accident in Thanjavur.
According to Tangedco data, snapping of conductor accounts for the highest cause of electrocution, with 130 cases recorded till November. In all, there were 413 accidents.
It said that the accidents could be avoided when adequate ground clearances of the HT and LT lines are maintained as per the CEA standards. As per the regulation, no conductor of an overhead line, including service lines, erected across the street should be at a height of 5.8 meters (19.14 feet) for LT lines or 6.1 m (20.13 feet) for 11 kv, 22 kv and 33 kv lines. Also, no conductor of an overhead line, including service lines, erected along the street should be at a height of 5.5 m (18.15 ft) for LT lines or 5.8 m (19.14 ft) for 11 kv, 22 kv and 33 kv lines.
“Field officials concerned should inspect their areas under their jurisdiction and rectification works should be carried out and ensure the vertical clearance as per the CEA norms. Also, all the corroded poles should be replaced, the loose sags and leaned poles should be set right immediately. Wherever stays are necessary, the same should be provided immediately,” it said, instructing the officials to complete all the works within 15 days and to submit reports once in three days.
The instruction warned that if the works were not carried out as per instruction and any defects were noticed during inspection, then the concerned Superintendent Engineers of the distribution circles and Executive Engineers of the Operation and Maintenance would be held responsible.