Dangling wires at Amritsar’s Shastri Market big safety threat


Amritsar, December 1

A wired mess inside the narrow by-lanes of walled city, especially in the old katras that are the commercial lifeline of Amritsar, continue to be a public hazard as the administration looks the other way. Loose and naked wires, that bundle around transformers or street lamp posts over the busiest lanes in Shastri Market, near the telephone exchange and lanes leading to Katra Ahluwalia and Jaimal Singh are not just an eyesore but also pose a threat of fire outbreak or electrocution risk to passersby and shopkeepers of the area.

Cobwebs of wires around electric poles in the narrow lanes of Shastri Market in Amritsar on Thursday.

Tangled and hung loosely, often falling on shops and houses, the authorities concerned have shown no interest in streamlining or proposing a solution to this problem. The shop owners in the area shared that in the past, several instances of small fire outbreaks due to a spark have taken place, only to be controlled in time by shop owners and local residents.

The Municipal Corporation as well as the power corporation authorities seem to be indifferent as people tend to adjust their lives around these tangled wires having been unable to make the authorities take notice of their problem.

“Some of these wires including the optical fibre wire of internet companies, telephone wires and cable wires run across windows and balconies of people’s homes, causing an immediate threat of electrocution. Several times, complaints have been made but the authorities concerned do not seem to care,” said Prakash Kapoor, a local shopkeeper who runs a furnishing business in Katra Ahluwalia.

Most commercial areas in Katra Jaimal Singh comprise wholesale clothes and fabric market, which fall under highly combustible products. These wires run across or just over the shops, storing mountain high stacks of cloth. “It is just another man-made disaster waiting to happen. Especially during the monsoon or heat season, these wires pose a high risk,” said Vijay Sharma, another show owner in the area.

Apart from the risk, it is also a cumbersome exercise for the electricians or cable operators to give new connections as the wires that are juxtaposed each other, make it a confusing and tiresome process.