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Not just suburbs, damaged pole unattended even in heart of city

DTNext 2019-09-21 05:25:33

Even after the tragic death of Sethu Rajan, who was electrocuted when a dilapidated electric pole collapsed near him in Chitlapakkam, the authorities are yet to take the matter seriously.

The damaged pole on Wallajah Road under which vendors sit was hit by a lorry two years ago Chennai: One such pole stands in the heart of the city, near Anna Salai, remaining unattended even now. “Two years ago, a lorry collided with the electric pole and damaged it. Even though we are requesting officials, they are not taking any action,” a street vendor said.
When DT Next visited the spot, the pole erected on the platform of the pedestrian subway near Anna statue junction on Wallajah Road was found to be bent. Electric cables are carried through the damaged pole. Without realising the danger, few street vendors sit under the damaged pole.
“We never took the damaged pole seriously until the incident happened in Chitlapakkam. At least after the life was lost, the authorities should repair all such damaged poles in the city, including the one on the Wallajah Road,” said S Suman Kumar, a pedestrian. He also urged the authorities to act before the onset of northeast monsoon, as the pole would get more damaged in the event of cyclones.
Due to the impact of lorry collision, the platform has suffered cracks making the base of the electric pole weak. “If replacing the pole is difficult, the officials should strengthen the base of the pole,” Suman added. Another street vendor pointed out that the cables were dangling dangerously on the pole. “Anyone can come into contact with the cable, which is very dangerous.”
When contacted, an official said that most of the electric cables were taken underground and assured to check whether the pole belongs to the Electricity Department or other departments. “We will rectify the issue,” the official added. Meanwhile, the residents of Chitlapakkam, where Sethu Rajan died, conducted a survey in their locality and found out that around 60 electric poles were in a damaged condition.