In the days to come, there could be problems in electricity supply, thanks to the increasing number of cable faults within the island city where the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) supplies.

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Many cable faults are caused during the installation of water, sewerage or gas pipelines. File pic
Many cable faults are caused during the installation of water, sewerage or gas pipelines. File pic

Sources in the BEST said that the number of complaints of cable faults have gone up between April to June this year when compared with the corresponding period last year. Cables are the limbs of any power supply entity. In case of any technical disruption, the power distributor has a whole lot of processes to follow before restoring the supply.

Officials said that cable faults have gone up by almost 68 per cent; there were 1,891 cable failures between April to June 2014, which has seen a steep rise to 3,171 cable failure numbers in 2015, the corresponding year. “The cable faults have increased due to rise in number of road excavations.

The trenches created either for repair or installation of water, sewerage or gas pipelines also cause cable faults,” said a BEST official. This only results in fluctuations and at times even minor power cuts that need to be addressed before consumers are disturbed.

The rise in these technical failures was so unexpected that the Undertaking failed to keep aside adequate appropriate budget (which is public money), for addressing these problems. The officials added that they had kept aside Rs 10 crore as budget for re-instatement of trenches and correcting damaged cable lines.

However, the actual expenditure exceeded the budget by Rs 6.13 crore, causing wastage of public money. “There is severe failure on part of the administration that is unable to get good quality cables,” said Ravi Raja, member, BEST committee.

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This time too the Undertaking has called tenders for getting cable-warning covers, which protect these cables from extreme faults especially while road excavation.

The BEST will be procuring 1.50 lakh of these cable-warning covers for low voltage cables and 38,600 cable-warning covers for high voltage cables at a total cost of Rs 29.93 lakh. These covers are like tiles that are placed at several locations below which these cables are laid.