Sadly though mishaps caused by electrical shocks due to open feeder boxes installed by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) no longer make news, but even worse is that the company has made it a habit of ignoring them and is not taking any steps to ensure that they do not recur in future.
At almost each corner of the road there is a feeder box installed by MSEDCL, this is the only point from where the wires are extended to the residential society meter rooms. No wonder, the amount of electrical power these boxes contain is huge. If there is any problem in the electricity supply the boxes are first to be checked up. As MSEDCL employees of the company regularly use the boxes to service complaints, they are often carelessly left open, risking the life of residents.
If you move around the city you will find that 50 per cent of them are either left open or are in a dilapidated condition with live electrical wires hanging loose. Krishna Pandit, resident of Sector 7 Vashi brings into notice the feeder box which is open on the footpath leading to Sagar Vihar and the garden alongside. Pandit informed “This is the stretch mostly used by the residents from all over Vashi for morning and evening walking and jogging. Most of them are senior citizens and children. Senior citizens who are found to get tired very soon, mostly try to find pillars for support to take rest. While the children are so fearless and careless that they never think twice before doing anything. Such careless indifference by MSEDCL staff may lead to a major accident. Already, such accidents have occurred in Koper Khairane and other nodes. The condition in other sectors and nodes is also similar. The feeder pillars are either found rusted or there is no door at all on them”.
“This is the right time for the company to take initiative as in a couple of months monsoon will start and risk of electrical shock would be greater in humid conditions,” he adds.
A resident of Sector 7, Vashi who does not want to disclose his name says, “Every week we have to face power failure. This happens because the load of electricity on the transformer is more than the supply. Hence power failure is a regular problem but MSEDCL employees only provide stop-gap solutions”.
Responding to queries, a spokesperson of MSEDCL informs, “As a corrective measure before the monsoon season we inspect each and every feeder pillar of the city. If any box is found without door it is replaced. All rusted pillars are repainted and there is no loophole for any mishap to occur. If we receive any complaint, appropriate action is taken at the earliest”.