Duty foremost for civil warden

A civil defence volunteer jumps in to help, in the aftermath of a heavy downpour last week.

On April 21st late afternoon, there was a very heavy downpour with hailstorm and very gusty winds. On my way home at Vijayanagar at about 5.30 pm, while it was still raining, I found the skyline near my home looking different I looked up to see a few trees were broken in the middle and fallen over houses.

Right in front of my house, two trees had fallen. On the main road behind, I found eight electric poles and three trees had fallen on 11 KVA power lines. This caused the complete stretch of electric poles and trees fall flat on the road, and on a car.

Pic: Pratap Kumar

Mobile network was down too. I quickly assessed traffic needed regulating because most other roads too were blocked with fallen trees. So I stood there regulating the traffic at the two junctions till 7.30 pm. Nobody came to assist, they seemed more interested in getting home to watch the IPL match.

Drenched fully, I came home to change and went down to the other junction to help. I was pleased to find 3-4 travel agency drivers help in regulating traffic as more vehicles were coming in from Vijayanagar main road. So we could clear up the traffic by about 9.30 pm.

The next morning at 6 am, I went over to see if the BESCOM linesmen had arrived. They arrived by 7.30 am and they first dismantled and disconnected all cables from the poles and as there were only five BESCOM men, a few of our civil defence wardens came over to help. We were then able to shift the electric poles and the very heavy coconut tree.

After the power was restored at noon, there was fire exactly opposite my residence on the second floor. So I quickly ran over to the roof and found that it was due to a cable TV wire falling on the 11 KVA live wire. I sent word through one of the wardens asking BESCOM to shut down power immediately. Then we lifted the cable and cut it, by then the BESCOM line men too came to check the fault. The fire had just started burning part of the tree branches; we could control and put it off with water. Firemen from West of Chord Road, Mariappa and his team came over, and inspected the situation.

Pic: Pratap Kumar

Cable TV operators should be regulated under the fire safety norms, because they put up their cables criss-crossing roads, on buildings, electric and telephone poles, trees, terrace, and overhead tanks to suit their convenience, without understanding the hazards. Fortunately the two little children who usually play on the terrace were not there at the time. Else there would have been major risk of casualty with a live wire on the rooftop.

We are pleased that we were useful service to our neighbourhood. Our citizens who have seen us working for the two days have more regard and respect for us.

Wardens who helped me were PUC students –  Deepu, Kandaswamy, Gokulram, Preetham, IT professional and ham operator – Sandeep Shah, Mohan G – businessman and a couple of more citizens.


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‘Civil Defence’ to the rescue

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