They Came,They Worked, They Left a Mess Behind! Ignorance of Mescom Workers
Mangaluru: It usually happens prior to the start of monsoons, when the Mangaluru Electricity Supply Company (Mescom) workers start pruning trees to prevent damage to power lines in case of heavy rain and gusty winds. While this is a routine exercise, what stands out is the lack of coordination between |Mescom and the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC). Because once they are done pruning/cutting of tree branches, they leave the cut branches on the road side or on the footpath, and the mess lies there for days and weeks- until someone calls and complaints to MCC. But in the meantime, the tree branches are either rotten or dried up creating more garbage.
While that’s the story of Mescom crew prior to Monsoon, but a few days ago Mescom along with their sub contractor workers had taken up installing two new electric poles in the Souza lane, on Kadri Road opposite to natural Ice Cream, Mangaluru. There were a bunch of men all geared up for their whole day job in the restoration work, and the whole area was out of power for the day, from around 8.30 am until 6 pm. I am okay with that since I live in that vicinity, but I am not okay with all the mess these workers out of ignorance leave behind once their job is done. They don’t have the slightest courtesy to see that the citizens don’t face any inconveniences or safety hazard due to their negligence. Many a time the pruned branches affect the clearance of pavements- and no one cares about it.
Not only these workers left behind a big mess, they even cut the phone/TV cable wires while installing their power lines. A slight carefulness by these Mescom workers could have prevented these BSNL and TV Cable wires from being cut, but they went according to their ways, not even caring about the inconveniences faced by the residents. For the whole day and until the next day, residents in that area had no landline connection nor cable TV to watch. As per rules, it is learnt that Mescom has to take permission from MCC before pruning trees. However, MESCOM officials pointed out that line clearance is their responsibility.
“We have been empowered by the government to prune branches ahead of monsoon or anytime there is an obstruction of branches near power lines. We do not need to take any permission from the MCC,” a MESCOM official said. True or false, I am yet to clarify on that point. And forget about the tree branches, they have dumped the old two electric poles at the end of our lane (Souza lane)- and they will be lying there forever. Is this how MESCOM works-I only hope the Head of MESCOM will read this report and do the needful.
But whatever be the case, leaving behind a big mess of pruned tree branches or for that matter, broken utility wires is not the right thing to do -it is totally an act of ignorance and carelessness. Another outcome of the lack of coordination is that cut branches are dumped on pavements. The civic body takes a long time to clear them, which inconveniences pedestrians. “If we know where the pruning exercise is being carried out, we can depute extra personnel to that area to clear the cut branches,” a senior MCC official said when contacted. But it has been already a few days, that the pruned branches are still lying there, some even getting dried up. God only knows when the MCC will clear the mess.
And sometimes MESCOM members without any prior information and permission enter residents’ property illegally to prune trees grown inside the house compound. As per rules, they are allowed to cut branches that are within 5 ft distance to electric cables. But, they do not have any measuring instruments to ensure minimal pruning. Many a time trees are butchered and branches hacked that are 10- 15 ft away. I think MESCOM needs to follow a policy of informing owners prior to cutting their trees; getting permission from homeowners or MCC prior to pruning trees, and have equipment that only prunes and cut what is allowed by law (max of 5ft) and most importantly, CLEAR THE PRUNED BRANCHES AND LEAVES COMPLETELY. Thank You!