The High Court of Karnataka has directed the Managing Director (MD) of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) to be present before it on April 7 to explain the inordinate delay in shifting power transformers from public footpaths.

The direction comes in the backdrop of the death of two people a few days ago after a faulty transformer burst and engulfed them in flames.

The Court did not mince words when blaming BESCOM for the delay to follow its directions on shifting the transformers. It was hearing a public interest litigation on the issue.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice S R Krishna Kumar said, "We are not at all satisfied with the explanation given for delay in work regarding shifting of transformers from the footpaths. In spite of sufficient time granted by this court, the shifting of transformers has not yet started. The delay in shifting of transformers affect the public at large as all these are installed on the footpaths and put the public at risk and also causes inconvenience. Let the MD of Respondent 3, BESCOM appear before the court to explain the reason for not getting the required transformers shifted expeditiously."

The HC on December 23, 2021 directed the BESCOM to file an action plan report. The Advocate for BESCOM informed the court that the tender for shifting the transformers was recalled after negotiations failed as the bidder had charged 56 per cent more than the bid price. A new work order was issued on March 17, 2022 to another bidder.

The Court was not satisfied with this explanation and said that it would not listen to the procedural problems of the BESCOM. Advocate G R Mohan, appearing for the petitioner, informed the court that two people lost their lives last week in Bengaluru due to a transformer on the footpath which caught fire.

With PTI inputs