Danger of overhead utility wires lurks over city

Updated: Sep 04, 2019, 07:44 IST | A correspondent

Post the Tyeb Building fire incident on August 3, the BMC quickly got down to work and cleared the overhead cables from Abdul Rehman Street

A BMC worker cuts off wires on Nagdevi street; the wire-free stretch post-civic body action a couple of weeks ago
A BMC worker cuts off wires on Nagdevi street; the wire-free stretch post-civic body action a couple of weeks ago

A front page report in this paper detailed how South Mumbai was lagging behind in sending all its overhead utility wires underground in the early 1990s, following the BMC diktat."

Last month, one saw how SoBo had erred in not following the rule. The fire brigade was halted for the umpteenth time. Precious minutes ticked by as the vehicle tried to access the narrow Abdul Rehman Street with overhead wires. There was a major fire inside the 112-year-old Tyeb Building.

Post the Tyeb Building fire incident on August 3, the BMC quickly got down to work and cleared the overhead cables from Abdul Rehman Street.

Yet, there are more such cables dotting the city, zigzagging across the skyline. The BMC had issued orders as these are a major impediment to fire fighting. Ward officers have been told to take penal action against those flouting these orders.

The cable wires have also disrupted train services in the past. While it is imperative that cable wires go underground, all stakeholders have to come together to take a decision on how that can happen.

Currently, we see there are arguments and counter arguments about these cables with operators demanding some sops from the government.

Some of the older buildings in SoBo they say, do not have a system to facilitate the laying of the wires underground.

There has to be a way to de-tangle this, as they say. Every piece of infrastructure too needs to move with the times.

If there is no system in South Mumbai, something has to be found even if easier said than done. We cannot allow the city to be put at risk and lives lost because of the fallout of these overhead cables.

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