The country is going through unprecedented medical turmoil and there are many lessons learnt by us. One of the lessons which require immediate attention is Electrical Safety as in past 8 months we have seen around 25 major fire accidents in hospitals all across the country and one of the main reasons attributed to such accident is short circuit and or over loading. It is really sad that Patients along with their caring relatives and medical staff died because of fire which could have been controlled or avoided
The Central Electricity Authority is empowered by Electricity Act 2003 to specify Safety requirement. In fact, the electricity business can be divided into two parts one is production of electricity at a Power Plant and then the delivery of Electricity to the doorsteps of the User and another is of User. The country has around 4lakh Mw and power is transmitted through a large network second in the world and then handed over to around 110 distribution companies and deemed distribution companies to deliver it to users. As per practice, the responsibility of distribution companies is to deliver till its meter and thereafter its usage is the responsibility of user.
The entire safety requirements are done by Electrical Inspectors who state government officials and in most of the states are not part of Energy department.
The safety of electrical is very complexed as Power Plants Transmission matrix is very complicated. In fact, as per technical standards, the higher the voltage is lesser the law and the country is heading towards the highest voltage of worls is 1200 KV and the lowest voltage where residents are given power is 220 KV. Thus uploading of Power Voltage from 6.6Kv at which is produced to upgrade upto 1200 Kv and then at destination down load upto 220 Kv require lot many transformations and everywhere safety element is paramount importance.
One more complicity with the electricity is the large amount of thefts and pilferage and that jeopardises the lives and safety of human and animals. It is estimated that every year we are losing accounted10000 persons on this count and it may increase substantially as now Government is focusing to increase per Capita Consumption from existing 1200 kwh to 3000 Kwh by increasing industrial transportation and living standards.
One of the major cause which prima facie reason which has been attributed to this cause is that the wiring and loads have not been computed properly and Electrical Safety aspects were missing. The same is true with other Electricity Accidents in the country which is rising. It is estimated that the country has lost around 10000 persons due to Electrocutions and Electricity related burns.
As per Electricity Act in vogue, the electricity which is produced in power plants travels to the transmission network at stepping up voltages to reduce the losses and then step down at loads location for delivery to consumers who are categorized in Industries, Domestics, Public Works and Commercial etc. Further , as per estimates that the country has got 35 crores, consumers, using around 2lakh Mw of Electricity travelling upto 1200 Kv voltage before stepping down as below as 220 Voltage before it reaches to users which have got all categories. The last house is also said to be electrified that means the country has proudly given Electricity to All and thus safety regulations are now of utmost importance.
As per Electricity law the Electricity is the Concurrent list of the Constitution and with now Private players also playing an entire sector is Regulated by State Regulators and for Inter State and Central by Central Regulators. The Central Electricity Authority has functions inter alia to specify technical and safety standards. The entire Electricity Safety aspect is taken care by Electrical Inspectors who is the body of State Government and most of the states independent to Energy department who enforces safety standards and enforcement. But in most of the states, there is a dearth of staff and as the volume of electricity is getting increased day by day it is necessary that the Electricity Inspectorate work be given to outsourcing verified credible Inspectorate and shall help in job creation
Technically speaking Electricity until it reaches the precincts of the user is maintained by Distribution Companies which are around 110 both Private and Public and total consumers are around 35 Crores. Once the power is reached till meter than the use of such electricity is the concern of the user and need to comply with National Electricity Code and other prescribed standards of Central Electricity Authority
Thus it is time that the Consumers of Electricity need to be well informed, educated for Safe Electricity. At Tripura, Consumer Education Forum has stated regarding Safe Electricity. The government is planning to give Electricity nit by choice but as an object and they should be properly trained for Electricity Safety.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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