In a city which sees heavy rains for nearly four months every year, more than one-third of BEST substations have leaky roofs. As key components of the distribution grid, substations provide power to entire localities and any problems in them can plunge the entire area they service into darkness.
Sources in the Undertaking said that 800 substations of the 2,200 across the island city between Cuffe Parade and Sion/Mahim, where the BEST supplies power have leaky roofs and ceiling slabs. This means that over 35 per cent of these substations are suffering from non-technical problems.
“These are the substations that have been built before the 1970s and are now in need of repairs. Any problems in substations result in power outages even if the cables are fine,” said a BEST official.
Just last month, lakhs of people had been left without electricity for nearly two days after heavy rain had led to waterlogging, which had affected both power cables and substations.
Officials said the ageing substations are also being adversely affected by a hot-and-humid environment and saline atmosphere. Waterproofing of these substations will now be taken up in phases.
“In the first phase, we will carry out waterproofing of 50 substations at a cost of around Rs 11 lakh,” said a BEST official. These 50 substations are mainly in the southern tip of the city Colaba, Cuffe Parade and Nariman Point and are located in both public and private buildings and premises.
Some of the affected substations include:
>> Wankhede Stadium
>> Crawford Market
>> Cuffe Parade (West)
>> Forbes Street
>> Cusrow Baugh
>> Ballard Estate
>> MLA Quarters
>> Kendriya Vidyalaya, Colaba
>> Queens Barrack