Lucknow Municipality to act on LESA’s suggestion to dig coordinated roads

After frequent power cuts caused by damage to underground power cables during sewer cleaning and road cutting, the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) and the municipality plan to undertake road digging works after a good coordination.

“Yes, we are ready to coordinate on this,” the officials said.

Chief Engineer LESA Vipin Jain said on several occasions that they had to face people’s anger due to what he described as the fault of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) or others involved in cutting roads for various reasons.

“On Monday, while clearing the sewers, LMC men damaged our underground power cables, affecting the power supply to more than 30,000 homes in the area. It took our people almost an hour to find out where the cable was damaged. Had LMC coordinated with LESA, this power outage would have been avoided. In many narrow lanes of the Old Town areas, LESA cables run alongside LMC drains and sewers. Since cables and drains will coexist, we will have to develop better coordination to guard against power outages, especially in the summer,” he said.

“LMC and telecom companies that continue to dig roads need to let us know ahead of time so our engineers can be on site to guide them on how to avoid power cables. We had written to telecom companies and departments like PWD, LDA, housing council, about this. Even if a cable is damaged, having our staff on site will ensure the fault is corrected quickly,” he said.

“Recently, the cable supplying the airport with electricity was damaged because some work was done by the airport administration and it took hours for LESA engineers to detect the fault and normalize the power supply. Similarly, also on May 14-12, a telecom company damaged a 150-meter-long underground cable in Jankipuram and affected the power supply of 11 kV Sultanpur power supply and II KV Shaurya Vihar power supply. The power supply went out for eight hours and LESA had to take responsibility,” the LESA official said.

When approached, LMC authorities said they were willing to coordinate with LESA on the matter.

“We are ready to coordinate with LESA or any other department before digging roads. LESA engineers can share the drawings of the cables laid by them in the different areas of the city. They may also consider getting a special conduit for the cables,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner, LMC, Pankaj Singh.

“LMC also suffers when LESA digs a road to repair its cables. After they dig, we have to rebuild the roads in those places. There should be a system at the ward level and at the substation level where LMC and LESA officials can coordinate to minimize inconvenience to the public. Both departments are directly accountable to the people, so better coordination will always bear fruit,” Singh said.

Melissa C. Keyes