Hardwired for disaster?

Apr 04, 2012, 10:30 IST | A Correspondent

Spot 1: As you get down from the Sion flyover, where it meets Dr Ambedkar Road, near the High Apartment building, you will see several wires spread over your head. If the wire looses grip, it will come falling down on the road. "Cable wires above the roads are a problem. Whenever we see someone putting a cable we stop him," said a traffic constable, at Highway Apartment.

Spot 2:
Priyadarshani, under Bhagwan Satyanarayanan Udand Bridge

Spot 3:
Postal Colony near Nehru Nagar, Kurla
This signal has schools nearby. Children are in close proximity of these wires that rest on the divider.

Inspector B More of Sion police station said, “We are not responsible for these cables, have we received any complaint about them. If we receive any, we will forward them to the BMC’s fire brigade department.” “We keep a track on the highways. I am sure there are no loose cables in our jurisdiction,” said an officer from Pant Nagar police station. “We have about a km of the highway in our jurisdiction. I don’t think these wires fall in our area. We haven’t witnessed any accidents happening due to the cables,” said an inspector of Nehru Nagar police station, requesting anonymity.  

In a mesh: Cable wires, suspended from lampposts, criss-cross over several stretches on the Eastern Express Highway. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Spot 4: 
Navghar Road Flyover junction
This junction at the Mulund end of the EEH consists of a small web of wires hanging across light posts and advertisement hoardings.


An officer from the Navghar Road Traffic Chowky said, “In my five years of service at this chowky, I have not seen any accident caused by snapping of cables or wires. Road accidents, if any, happen in our absence at night.”  

Spot 5:
Ghatkopar Flyover junction

This area consists of a few wires dangling from light posts and advertisement hoardings. Bang opposite the traffic police chowky located under the flyover, there is a street lamppost with two snapped wires hanging from it.

A senior inspector from the chowky said, “We have never come across any accidents caused by snapping cables. There are hardly any such cables on the Eastern Express Highway. You will only find the cables from the power grid higher up in the sky. Even those are designed to break off from the circuit if snapped.” Another officer from the same chowky added, “The wires hanging from the light posts are there since a long time. Even we do not know what purpose they serve and for how long they have been here. They are mostly cable TV or Internet wires. They are certainly not electricity wires. 

Spot 6:
Over the EPFO building and a residential structure on the WEH, Bandra (E)
An official from Paramount Vision Powernet Services, the cable company, said, “The cable has been up for around 30 years, and we have not received a single complaint in that time. We conduct a quarterly maintenance of our cables every 3 months, to check the integrity of the optic fibre and the wire. We also change the cables once a year. There has never been any incident regarding a falling cable due to improper installation. Still, we would agree to run the cables underground if we were provided with the facility.” Speaking about Israr Khan’s death, he said, “I read about the accident that took place in Jogeshwari. Companies have to pay a huge sum to keep the cables up and running, so someone is certainly responsible. The police should look into the payments to track the company in charge.”

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