Millennium Post

KMC to install lightning arresters on roofs of all borough offices

Kolkata: In a bid to make its borough offices safe from lightning strikes, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has planned to install lightning arrester devices on roofs of all of them.

Boroughs X, XI and XII have already been earmarked for setting up the device and the rest will follow in due course. The move comes in the wake of the tragic death of a Dum Dum resident who was electrocuted after lightning struck the south gate of Victoria Memorial, where he had gone to celebrate his wife's birthday on August 17.

"It rained cats and dogs for a long time and the bolts of lightning were alarming. We were keeping our fingers crossed fearing that if lightning struck our borough offices, it could have damaged electrical equipment including the computer and server. Luckily there was no such strike but we decided that we should install lighting arresters in all our 16 borough offices on an urgent basis," a senior official of the Lighting and Electrical department said.

The department will install GI pipe arrester and not copper ones owing to the cost-effectiveness. The former type is priced lesser than the latter and the specifications of

the state Public Works department will be followed in this regard.

It may be mentioned that KMC has already started installing such devices in the parks across the city and four of them have come up at Deshapriya Park in South Kolkata. Deshbandhu Park in North Kolkata and Maddox Square are some of the other parks where similar facilities have been installed.

In June 2018, young cricketer Debabrata Pal was warming up with his teammates before he was struck by a bolt of lightning and killed at Vivekananda Park.

"We will install such lighting arresters in all the parks in phases and those with a larger area will get the facilities first," said Debasish Kumar, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks and Gardens).

KMC is the custodian of as many as 700 parks spanning across 144 wards of the civic body. These lightning catcher devices have the capacity to draw lightning away from reach the ground, thereby minimising the damage.

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