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Hazardous installations

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

This picture was taken on the footpath opposite Aadishwar showroom on the intermediate ring road (some 50M before the start of the Domlur fly-over ramp - approaching from Koramangala side). While such instances are not isolated across the city, what I found unique about this particular installation was its cross-arm covering almost the entire width of the footpath. Also, many of these cross-arms are not easily visible, particularly when it gets dark, posing a serious hazard to pedestrians. And, the problem persists even with the new single-pole installations.

Perhaps, BESCOM can offer a reward to anyone who can come up with a good solution?

Muralidhar Rao


sanjayv's picture

Absolutely, need a design contest

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Bang on Murali. We need alternate designs for these. Should be easy to do with some application of mind.
murali772's picture

the function

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By my understanding, the cross-arm on the left side supports the vertical pipe fitting, rotation of which operates the isolator switch on top (not in picture). The cross-arm on the right, along with the brackets, perhaps help stabilise the left cross-arm during the operation of the switch.

The operation of the switch is done by linesmen standing on the ground. I had once suggested that it be done standing on the platform of their maintenance vehicle, in which case the cross-arm can possibly be fitted at a level of some 8ft from the ground, solving the problem faced by pedestrians. But, the BESCOM engineers didn't seem to favour that.

Muralidhar Rao
psaram42's picture

Robust Road Standards DULT

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DULT has finalized a foot path standard after a long time. Public consultations were thought un-necessary. It is expected to be on their web site any time now. Compliance to the same probably should start with this blog example hopefully.  

Road standard which should include foot path is what is more important. All cables including power, communication, optical fiber, street lights etc all should be under ground with slots assigned to each one of them. [1] One way is to accommodate cables along Storm water Drains.

bialterminal's picture

The photo in this post is

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The photo in this post is mind boggling. Who in their right mind would have designed such a contraption?


On the contrary i captured some photos of contruction in progress of a footpath in southern california. See how they have done an amazing job -

psaram42's picture

Misplaced comparison

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Comparison of the Californian city with Bangalore is unfair. The road width in the example links is many times more than that of  the road in Bangalore under discussion. It is like comparing a palace with a hut.

idontspam's picture

Look again

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The road width in the example links is many times more than that of  the road in Bangalore under discussion

First, the sidewalk isnt being built on the road, so it doesnt matter even if there is no road. Second, the width of the walkway in the SoCal pictures are narrower than the one in the Bangalore picture & yet it is more usable. 

bialterminal's picture

miscplaced comparison?

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If we don't compare with a palace and aspire to be a palace will we ever be one? Or shall we remain content being a hut?  India has great talent and Indian's are making their mark all accross the globe, sadly the country resemles a hut.

Sorry for being offtopic; so coming back to the topic; since you are talking about road do you explain the fact that even the narrowest roads in paris or London have a decent footpath; a bike lane and space for a bus to pass through? Let me dig some photos out and post it here. You please judge for yourself.


And, by the way, MG road in Bangalore is much wider than the road in the above photo. MG road had good footpath in a few sections compared to other areas of Bangalore, but there are sections of MG road don't have a footpath that is built to correct specifications and is walkable.









bialterminal's picture

@psaram42 - road width?

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 >The road width in the example links is many times more than that of  the road in Bangalore under >discussion.

I looked at your comment more closely and then looked at the photo in the original photo at the beginning of the post. I disagree with your statement.

The road in Murali's photo is actually a 3 lane road and if you notice the footpath is wider. The problem is that BBMP goofed up by putting the poles in the middle of the footpath (god knows what kind of engineer did that).

The photos i took are of a 2 lane road with a center turn lane, so i am willing to bet that the roads are equal in width (in fact the road in my photo may actually a bit smaller..but definitely not wider). Also, notice how in the footpath curves inwards a bit to get around the fire hydrant and the pole (traffic sign not seen due to the can see just the foot of the pole) next to it. These are the subtle things that even i did not notice when i was new to this country fresh out of India. But if you connect the dots together it is actually very simple to build a good footpath with some simple engineering basics and good enforcement. I think folks will easily say that we are a poor nation and don't have adequate money or the roads are too narrow but i disagree.

Please let me know your thoughts since this is an interesting discussion and i am yearning to see bangalore improve.



psaram42's picture

Road standards and enforcement

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My point was about the much needed standards and enforcement far as our roads in Bangalore are concerned. It is not engineering but regulations that need to be put down first. Engineering will follow. A foot path needs to be obstruction free. Otherwise people tend to walk on roads.

DULT Bangalore is expected to release foot path standards shortly. Once released, it is a law, and needs to be enforced. However a road standard which includes a foot path is what is needed. Further these standards have to be enforced too.

Another aspect is allocation of sufficient funds to achieve such compliance. 

Naveen's picture

It's about priorities

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Agreed. However, the missing aspect in this discussion is that the volume of road vehicles in Bangalore being far too high, the priorities allocated to their movement is needlessly excessive whilst the neglect of pedestrian facilities is total & complete - this is the cause for these pathetic conditions, amply demonstrated in the picture.

This is generally the case all across the country - a country where the pedestrian is shown disrespect by almost all. This perception has to change & roads must have proportionate sidewalks & engineers from BBMP /KPTC, etc never allowed the liberty of encroaching on pedestrian infrastructure.

murali772's picture

BESCOM responds

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Even before I could send a link to the post to Mr Manivannan, apparently he noticed it, an indication of which came in form of a flurry of phone calls to me from jurisdictional BESCOM engineers. This morning, they requested me to come over to the site and see for myself the solution they have come up with. They have removed the offending cross-arms and supporting brackets, cut off some 2 metre length of the pipe at the bottom, and anchored it to the pole at a height of about 7ft from the ground, using a short bracket, as can be observed in the picture. However, in the process, they have essentially dummied the switch - meaning it cannot be operated from this position - which, as readily conceded by the Exec Engr, Mr Natraj (face masked by the pole, in the picture), is only a temporary solution.

Well, amongst the most offending of the structures has been "tackled", at least for now. But, there are many more such structures across the city, even if not all of them are as offending. And, if the same solution is applied across the board, we will land up with a far more hazardous situation, where BESCOM can't operate the switches when needed, than now. Essentially, this means that there has to be a better design of the operating mechanism - and, the contest still on.

Another point to be noted here is the ready response from BESCOM - yes, currently because of Mr Manivannan. But, why has it to be that way? Can we work towards a future where the citizens can post such issues on PRAJA, and BESCOM readily responds, whether Mr Manivannan is there or not. And, it need not be limited to BESCOM.

Muralidhar Rao
dvsquare's picture

But BESCOM needs to do something about transformer opposite DELL

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Thanks for the immediate respond by BESCOM, appreciative work.

About the skybridge near the DELL on IRR, when we had email conversations, Vantage people have come back with this -

"There are 11kva line on  both sides of the foot path and also a transformer opp Dell which needs to be shifted. We have communicated to the BBMP and in return they have also written to the Bescom, unless this is cleared we are unable to start even the foundation work."

Now, I am not sure why BESCOM and BBMP not want to take this up on priority and why BTP not asking any reasons, and not sure what are the hidden profits Vantage must be getting in here.

Hope to have this also solved soon, so as people can avoid risking their lives while crossing the IRR.


Mani1972's picture

Facebook for BESCOM?

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Dear All,

Thanks to Murali sir for the link.

Instead of asking the public to visit websites to lodge complaints, why can't BESCOM have a Facebook account? This idea was suggested by the Additional chief secretary, Energy, Mrs. Shamim Banu, IAS, (Chief of Energy issues in the state).

So, we are already working on opening Facebook account for BESCOM. Its not as easy as opening it in a day. We need to involve all our officers to have FB account, and use it regularly so that they can respond to the issues posted by the consumers. It needs a instruction manual, training etc. Yes, our officers are not exposed to FB etc, though there are a few who already have accounts.

We are working on it. Hopefully it should come out in a month or so. Team BESCOM is always thinking of making life better for its consumers.

Regarding the DELL issue, BBMP needs to pay the shifting charges. I am not aware of the local BBMP office has done that. If its done, then shifting shall happen within 30 days of the payment. We have a wonderful operations and safety team, headed by Mr. Hosamani (CGM, Operations) and Mr. Ramachandra (GM, Safety & Quality) respectively.

Advance wishes for a Merry Xmas and a Wonderful New year for all the Praja readers!




silkboard's picture

Mani sir, BESCOM support structure

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Mani sir, while using facebook for "listening" is a good idea, as a service provider, I wouldn't use them, at least not exclusively for structured support. BESCOM has to have a structured support setup that it can manage and own. This setup though, can have space for multiple "channels" of feedback. Imaging building your own "Support Database" to keep all the requests/complaints/suggestions received, and also the corresponding responses. Then, you would have your own "direct" channels to interact with consumers, and also the indirect ones. Both direct/indirect channels would work off of the same support database.

Let me put up a picture, may be worth a thousand words. Below could be a possible support structure for BESCOM provided services. Won't cost a lot, and if even 3-4 government service providers can team up to build this, we could build things nicer and bigger.

murali772's picture

work culture to blame

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This is the picture (taken at the turning to the KGA on the IRR) of the cross-arm meant for supporting the switching mechanism on electrical poles. Here, however, though the switching mechanism appears to have been dismantled, the cross-arm has been casually left behind, fastened to the pole. It has subsequently slid down, posing a serious hazard to pedestrians.

Immediately he sees this, I am sure Mr Manivannan will have it rectified. But, this can't be an isolated instance, and there will be plenty such hazardous spots across the city, resulting plainly out of the "chalta hai" work culture that has got ingrained amongst the BESCOM (as also most public sector) staff, over the past 60 years of their dominance of the commanding heights of the country's economy. The question that arises is can one Manivannan change the work culture in his say 3-yr term? And, even if he does, can it be long-lasting? And, that is where the question of privatisation arises - check this.

Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture


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If work culture is to blame; then is a PPP model the solution? Maybe Government should only play the role of laying down rules, regulations and specifications. It should also facilitate the tendering process and perform the final inspection. Licensed contractors should be hired to perform construction and regular operational maintenance duties. Fire contractors and terminate their licenses who fail to make the mark.


At the same time, to prevent a nexus between contractors and Government officials who facilitate the tendering process and conduct the inspections; checks and balances in the form of an independent third party which does auditing of the whole process needs to be put in place. And if still the work does not get done and these 3 parties cannot work together and make the system sucessful all 3 parties need to be jointly held accountable so that they cannot pass the blame to each other and get away with it.

From the photos in this thread there has been complete failure on multiple fronts

- design (whoever designed must be fired for designing these contraptions without proper thought)

- construction (substandard materials perhaps, improper construction)

- enforcement (who was overseeing the design and construction. who gave the final approval after construction)

To me it is not just a matter of work culture. It is actually a systemic failure that is commonly seen on multiple fronts (be it building a TTMC, be it road infrastucture, be is sewage system etc.) and is common to India.  But the silver lining in the cloud is that such systemic failures are not there in the new airport terminals that have sprung up accross the country using the PPP model.

Basically, the bottom line is light a fire under somebody's seat and put his/her neck under the chopping block then miracles can happen :-)

murali772's picture

bottom line and more

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@blpraj  -  yes, you have summed it up in your bottom-line - check this for more

Muralidhar Rao
Mani1972's picture

Dear All, I have not been

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Dear All,

I have not been able to see Praja for a long time, owing to time constraints. I guessed this situation long ago, and suggested that we work on one website, which most of the users check: eg. Facebook. Silkboard came up with his suggestion as above, and I welcomed it. Now, waiting for him to help us on this! Meanwhile, we have gone ahead with Facebook, with more than 1000 staff and 2000 citizens. Its working well, enabling sharing of ideas!:)

About work culture; i do agree that there is a need for a drastic change. Generally, organization will be as good as those whom in interacts with. Problem is BESCOM is that it does not interact with its consumers. Now that, we are opening up, we have to wait and watch. As i had anticipated, opening up will reveal the problems inside. Once the problems are identified, then we can think of solving/attending to them in a comprehensive way.

We do need improvement in both the quality and quantity of staff. Opaqueness for long periods have taken a heavy toll on us, like a patient managing his life in-spite of internal problems!

I am afraid that i may not visit this site in near future, and hence request that Facebook may be used for now, for sharing ideas, till silk-board helps us in a integrated set-up.




murali772's picture

I'll give up my demand for privatisation, but - - -

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We do need improvement in both the quality and quantity of staff. Problem is BESCOM is that it does not interact with its consumers. Opaqueness for long periods have taken a heavy toll on us. Now that, we are opening up, we have to wait and watch.

Well said, Sir. Yes, things can certainly change, and seeing this post from the AEE, S3 sub-dvn, I can see that it is already happening. If this trend continues, I'll even give up my demand for privatisation :))). But, then again, how can the problem of your being starved of funds, due to non-payment of subsidy by GoK (check this), be resolved?

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