How to make footpaths free of transformers - your suggestions

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Pedestrian Infrastructure

Guys, BESCOM is seeking ideas on how to make Bangalore footpaths free of transformers. I think newspaper ads are out today. Was wondering if we can collect some ideas via this post and share with BESCOM.

update: First up, a list of previous posts on the subject, as this is not new.

A picture of the problem, as a sample:

And a picture of a solution (in this case, move them "inwards", as in towards the building, as a sample :)

And, also see: Janaagraha's PIL (click here) on the subject:



Pole mounted transformers

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This transformer looks attractive. However cost benefit analysis is required. 





Sir, I feel the transformers

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I feel the transformers should be mounted on a single pole (if possible), secondly, I have seen at many places the least used side of the foothbath can be used to erect transformers. for. eg. on one side of the road will have houses other side there may not be any houses or some railway track may be there or some wall..

thirdly, the transformers can be erected at the end of the footpath instead of erecting in the middle...(dont know if this is possible)



There are only 3 options

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This is a design problem, in the sense, the road should have been designed with proper place for transformers, trees, bus-stops etc and they should not be put on the footpath as an afterthought. Putting something on to a footpath cuts its width and essentially makes it unusable


For existing transformers, there is not too much you can do -

1. Take it underground ... can be done but expensive (as always)

2. Take it up ... ie pole mounted. Am not sure if this can be done for any rating (KVA) or transformer. It has its own risks and costs associated

3. Take it to the side. Usually the edge of the road and footpath is reserved for parking. You can consume one parking slot and put in a transformer instead


on a single pole..

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a thicker concrete pillar/pole should be able to support a full sized transformer like the ones we have here in bangalore..

The feeder cables if insulated as above should make it more safer too..

What was this about? Just

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What was this about? Just publicity?

n - noted

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question asked if the earlier PR was a response to PIL or publicity stunt(!). And what will happen to this round of enthu.

also - have listed all related posts I could find right on top

re-location of transforemers from footpaths

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apart from erecting transformers on poles, my simple suggestion would be, if the size of the transformer is 2ft width x 3 ft length x 5 ft height, then a recessed area (5 ft width x 5 ft length ) can be acquired adjacent to the footpath or exactly where the road bends, by KEB, the area protected by a wall and the transformer can be re-located there;

a legislation may have to be passed for this so that in future road developers and layout planners takie cognizance of this and plan accordinlgy


many thanks

Srinath Heragu

huge switchgear..

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Mysore road was recently widened and some decent footpath space was also reserved..though not done completely..

However BESCOM came back and placed huge switchgear equipment as can be seen in the image below:

This is almost 5 feet in width and this occupies almost the whole footpath. I do not understand why this needs to be on the footpath in the first place.

However right next to this unit a new unit is being commissioned, I do not know if it is to replace this huge one or not..but the size looked more manageable..

this will atleast free-up some space on the foot path..

SOme of these boxes have fences around them in certain installations and these fences make sure the whole footpath is occupied by it..guess the fences can be taken out and these sleeker units replace make space for peds..

The most glaring one is on MG front of Oberoi hotel and close to KPTCL bldg on Residency road

Before we jump, just thinking

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Before we jump, just thinking of constraints :


a)  The new place where transfer is to be installed, should be not reachable to children/animals

b) Easily servicable , in other words, should be easy to transport, install and repair.

c) Easily reachable to BESCOM/Fire staff

d) Should not create excessive mess of wires

e) Should be in private property( ??? why?)

f) Should meet space requirement around transformer (Not sure, if such specs exist)

Dear Sanjeev (of BHEL), do we have any other inputs regarding this?


" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"

How about few case studies

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We are all still talking in the air.  We will need to do few case studies before proper suggestions can be given.  Some questions.

1. If transformers are (single) pole mounted, will it solve the problem.

2. Upto what rating can transformers be pole mounted. At what height should it be mounted?

3. How does the weight of transformers used in BESCOM (kg/ kVA rating) compare with available technology.

4. Is it only tranformers that cause difficulty or is it theswitching paraphernalia that comes with it (Group Operating - air break-switches).

5. What alternate design options exist for all the components.

etc. etc.


One thing I have noticed and gotten confirmed from BESCOM is that they are investong to replace all the old Vacuum insulated RMUs (Ring Multiple Units - the large gray boxes in Sri's post above) with more compact SF6 insulated units.

I never saw such big boxes

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I never saw such big boxes anywhere in roadside in any of my visits abroad. Wondering how did they manage. But I guess either they have installed such boxes within target customer (for example big Industry) primises or they are using modern equipments which are much less in size.

Any Praja's currently abroad, reading this post, may kindly observe in current location of their visit and throw some light please.

Then we can "copy and paste" with suitable local modifications??

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"

"BDA" only authority no planning?

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Electric power distribution is a highly technical subject best handled by qualified electrical engineers. Electric power is transmitted at high voltage to minimize transmission loss which is proportional to the square of the current. We see the high voltage transmission towers for transmitting the power over long distances, outside city limits only.

In Indian cities house hold power is at 220 volts. As such there is a need for  transformer space in multiple stages at several locations through out the city. The town planners in BDA seem to have ignored this important aspect in their planning. 

But, isn't there a public interest element here, your honour?

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A division bench of the High Court on Monday stayed proceedings in the Manoj Patil electrocution case. The BESCOM had challenged a single judge bench order to remove all transformers from footpaths. - - - On Monday, the BESCOM contended that the single judge bench converted a writ petition to a public interest litigation without going into the issue.

The division bench of Justices N Kumar and B Manohar, which stayed the proceedings in the case for four weeks, observed that a private litigation can not be converted into a public interest litigation. “The single judge bench was not justified in passing periodical orders which have no relevance in deciding the case before him,” observed the court.

For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

While the division bench is perhaps right in that the single judge bench had gone beyond the scope of the present compensation claim case, there is however the larger question of road user, particularly pedestrian, safety. This is aggravated by the fact that the government's policies have caused the ESCOMS remain perennially broke and thereby unable to carry on even day to day maintenance, leave alone upgradation/ modernisation and expansion.

The biggest policy issue here is the burdening of the ESCOMS to the extent of an annual Rs 6,200 cr of farmer subsidy, which the government is supposed to clear readily, but never does. Even though there are very many ways of addressing the issue (some are discussed here), left to the Karnataka government, they will not solve the problem, and hence the need for getting the court into the picture.

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