Open wires and electric panel pose risk to visitors at parks
Resident Welfare Associations say covers of switch boxes of garden lamps, water fountains and motor pumps are missing and live wires are often seen dangling loose.Updated: Aug 13, 2019 01:08 IST
Open fuse boxes and electric panels at colony parks maintained by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Kirti Nagar and Moti Nagar neighbourhoods have become a serious cause of concern for residents.
Resident Welfare Associations say covers of switch boxes of garden lamps, water fountains and motor pumps are missing and live wires are often seen dangling loose.
The exposed wires pose a big risk to visitors, especially to children playing in the parks during monsoons when there is stagnant water around the poles, said local BJP councillor Vipin Malhotra, who had raised the issue at the north body’s Standing Committee meeting.
The corporation’s electricity department, however, pinned the blame on miscreants attempting to steal electricity and drug addicts hacking away their iron covers for money.
“We run an extensive checking drive of our assets, including such poles in parks, just ahead of the rains. We disconnect all the defunct circuits,” said north corporation commissioner Varsha Joshi.
“Unscrupulous elements, however, bring them alive by attaching wires to the circuits to draw illegal power. They leave the covers open, rendering children and animals in their vicinity vulnerable to shocks and electrocution,” a senior official, who did not wish to be named, said.
Malhotra said, “There have been serious incidents in parks in my ward. A dog was electrocuted to death at a park in M Block of Kirti Nagar in June when he poked his nose into a fuse box, following a squirrel that went into it.”
“At the same park on July 9, a 40-year-old security guard, Arun Mishra, suffered serious burn injuries when he was trying to remove these naked wires,” Malhotra said.
“I have personally tested these open fuse boxes at most of the 92 parks in my jurisdiction and found them to be live,” he said.
Locals are scared children could come into contact with the open panels. “Every evening, some of us stand guard. These are small 50 metre X 50 metre parks and the poles are in all corners, so it’s difficult to keep the kids playing away from them,” said Pushpa Khushwaha, a resident of L Block in Kirti Nagar.
Residents said they are often unsure who is responsible for their maintenance. “Once we called the North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL) after municipal officers told us that the area’s annual maintenance contract (AMC) has been given to them. But NDPL said they aren’t responsible for the poles in colony parks,” said Ashwani Kumar Narula, a resident of F Block, Moti Nagar.
“After failing to get the fuse boxes closed despite complaints to the north municipality, we got private electricians and got them shut at a huge cost,” Narula said.
A senior north corporation official, who requested anonymity, said a serious problem is also lack of funds. “For the past two to three years, we have got no money from the Delhi government for the maintenance of parks and poles. We have 6,085 parks under us; without monetary resources or staff to hire for this job, how do we fix these?” he asked.
The Delhi Government did not respond to messages for a response on this.