Maze of cables can be deadly

Nearly every street and road in the city has cables of telecom and internet service providers dangling in a haphazard manner on houses, trees, electric poles and lamp posts. Just like illegal banners, these low-hanging wires are equally dangerous to the residents and motorists.

In several pockets, residents have complained of lamp posts suddenly collapsing due to weight of cables, splitters, repeaters which are piled on them. Each of these overloaded poles is a danger to the residents, and repeated attempts to address this have been in vain, some of them complained.

M. Arvind Kelvin, a software engineer of Madipakkam, was shocked to see overhead cables were passing through his house, without his permission. “It is not clear on who permitted the overhead cables to be run and hung without the permission of the residents. Even the electricity post is not spared. When we look above, its black cables criss-crossing everywhere. It may fall any time on any motorist and pedestrian and can turn fatal.”

Sharing his harrowing experience, A.S.Prabhakar, a resident of Alayamman Nagar main road, “I opposed and repeatedly questioned the people who came to install them as to how they could hang cables on the lamp posts located opposite my house. Four days ago, the bottom of the lamp post was broken and it is about to crash due to the weight of wires. We have complained to the Corporation three days ago They came and removed the light from the post. The lamp post remains with the cables still dangerously hanging from it.”

Despite the safety concerns being raised by residents welfare associations, no action has been taken by the authorities. On one occasion, a motorist died on ECR after a dangling cable entangled him. Anbalagan, president of Residents’ Welfare Association in Sadasiva Nagar said, “We repeatedly complained to the civic authorities. All the cables are being tied up in a haphazard way as they dangle from poles, trees and footpaths making it difficult to walk. There is no concrete solution in sight for this.”

In several areas of the city, the cables of telecom/ internet service providers cause hindrance to pedestrians. Small streets are like web with wires dangling from the terrace, lamp posts and junction boxes. “The area continues to face challenges of dangling electricity and telecommunication cables. Any snapping and falling will be fatal to people who will cross this area,” said Unnikrishnan, a resident of Madhanangkuppam.

Jayaram Venkatesan of Arappor Iyakkam said “Unless this cabling business is regulated, it is going to be a menace and present danger, much like the illegally erected banners or hoardings.”

Meanwhile, the Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash held a meeting with all telecom service providers on Monday and set a deadline to them to remove unauthorised overhead cables. Permission was given to 26 companies to lay 5,318 km of cables on 24,900 streets of the city. However, the total cable length has increased. The city has more than 2.7 lakh streetlights and it is impossible to do away the menace with shortage of staff, said sources.

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