Taking safety precautions to a new level, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) spent Rs 1 lakh to install spikes on top of all 54 electric feeder boxes, lined along the immersion route procession at Laxmi Road.
Apart from this measure to thwart onlookers from standing on top of these high-voltage power boxes, authorities also applied grease to the sides to prevent them from climbing onto them.
Ironically, in Karnataka’s Belgaum district, four people were electrocuted to death and six were injured when they came in contact with a high-tension wire during the immersion procession on Wednesday.
“Last year, we observed that over enthusiastic devotees sit on top of the feeder boxes. They also allow children sit on it to get a proper view of the immersion procession. Although there were no tragedies in the preceding years, we cannot wait for it to happen as such negligence may result in the deaths of people.
Therefore after a detailed study, we decided to take effective steps by covering the feeder boxes with iron spikes, which would restrict people from standing or sitting on it,” said Anand Raidurg, executive engineer, MSEDCL, Shivaji Nagar division.
He added that considering that some might still look to park themselves on the boxes, despite the putting the long, thin sharp-pointed spikes, grease was also applied to the boxes so that people would stay away in a fear of getting stains on their clothing.
“We also assigned 10 linemen to keep a watch during the procession,” said Raidurg, adding that MSEDCL officials had been working on these efforts since the last two months.
“We couldn’t remove those feeder boxes from their spots, as this would have affected the electricity supply to the entire Laxmi Road area,” added Raidurg.