Power regulator urged to prevent growing cases of electrocutions

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Chennai: Concerned over the number of electrocutions in residential areas recently, a consumer group has written to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) to direct the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) to replace dangling overhead wires with underground cables and aerial bundled conductors.The Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group in a letter dated May 26 said the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has not taken urgent cognizance of electrocutions despite directions from TNERC in 2009 and 2011.This comes soon after the death of two students in Madurai on May 29 when they came in contact with a high-tension wire. Recently, a couple were electrocuted when they stepped on a puddle into which a live wire had fallen in Mogappair.In its letter, CAG stated that 468 people were electrocuted in Tamil Nadu in 2014. “This issue does not seem to be a priority for Tangedco for more than three years despite clear directions from TNERC. The quality of wires used is poor because of which in some places they snap,” said CAG member K Vishnu Mohan Rao.”Though core city areas have underground cables and aerial bundled conductors, open cables are found on the peripheries of the city. Most electrocutions occur there,” said an official from the electricity department.A TNERC official confirmed receipt of the letter and said Tangedco will replace such cables with safer options in a phased manner. “The city is continuously expanding and hence it is a challenging job for the agency,” he said.

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