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Elderly Kolkatan trips on coiled cables in Salt Lake, receives multiple stitches

Low-hanging wires or mesh of cables lying scattered are a common sight on roads and footpaths across Kolkata

Snehal Sengupta, Subhajoy Roy | Published 14.07.22, 06:00 AM
Cables at the spot where Shibaji Paul tripped on Wednesday

Cables at the spot where Shibaji Paul tripped on Wednesday

Sourced by The Telegraph

A 65-year-old man tripped on cables lying scattered on the road near the GD island in Salt Lake on Wednesday afternoon and had to be taken to a hospital where he received multiple stitches.

His injury and suffering are something that could befall any Kolkatan any day because low-hanging cables or mesh of cables lying scattered are a common sight on roads and footpaths in the city.

Shibaji Paul said he was returning home from a grocery amidst rain when he tripped on the cables. He was trying to cross Broadway and was standing at a traffic island in order to let vehicles pass.

Once the traffic light turned red and he tried to get off the island, Paul said he fell after stepping on cables.

Although lucky to have not come in contact with a live wire, Paul was left with a gash on his forehead as he hit the pavement head first. He was taken to a nearby nursing home where he received stitches to close the wound.

The Telegraph has written on many occasions how cables pose a threat to pedestrians as well as motorists. An 18-year-old man riding a motorbike without a helmet died of head injuries in 2018 after his two-wheeler got caught in a heap of cables on the east-bound flank of the Park Circus bridge.

Across Kolkata, Salt Lake, Dum Dum and Howrah, bunches of cables belonging to internet service providers, multiple-system operators and local cable service providers remain tied around poles. Sometimes, the cables dangle close to the ground and in some places they are strewn on a road or a footpath.

A large number of the cables that hang overhead are defunct but are never removed. Besides, the operators always leave some excess cable tied around a pole so that it could be used if a portion of the wire gets damaged.

“If there is a fault, it is easier to connect a new wire than locating the fault and repairing it,” said a cable operator in Salt Lake.

Many Salt Lake residents fear the maze of wires would cause a loss of life any day. AE Block resident Partha Sarathi Chakraborty said even crossing roads had become difficult because of cables dangling or lying scattered across the road.

“The authorities must act before we have a fatality in Salt Lake,” said Chakraborty.

Sabyasachi Dutta, chairperson of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, said there were plans to move all cables underground. But the scheme, he said, did not move beyond the pilot project, during which an underground cable duct was constructed in AA Block.

“The project got stalled as we faced serious opposition from cable and broadband operators. Till date, no meeting has been held where we could create a roadmap for shifting the cables underground,” said Dutta.

New Town has implemented such a system, said an official of Hidco, the administrative authority of New Town. In Sector V, too, removal of overhead cables has started.

In Kolkata, the civic authorities have removed the overhead cables from most of Harish Mukherjee Road, but on almost every other road, thick bunches of cables hang from roadside poles.

 

Last updated on 14.07.22, 06:00 AM
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