Friday, June 7, 2019

Takshila Fire Millionth ‘REPEAT’ of Uphaar Tragedy   
June06, 2019 (C) Ravinder Singh

Takshila Building fire in Surat on 24th May was millionth repeat of‘TRANSFORMER FIRE’ since UPHAAR Tragedy in Delhi in 1997. Transformer Fires happen when there is Overloading and Overheating of Transformers cause Explosion or Leak of Oil and Service Lines Burn when any fault in Service line SPREADS to entire Length or from Meter Box due to Non Functional Safety Devices in the Transformer.

Takshashila Building fire started in ‘Oil Filled Electricity Distribution Transformer’ located on street Outside The Building’.News channels had reported based on CCTV and Private Videos that fire started outside in Pole Mounted Distribution Transformers that in 45s Spread Rapidly to Takshashila Building. India has millions of such Oil Filled Transformers. There was no SAND PIT around the transformer to Soak Leaked oil and reduce fire.

Even in South Delhi fault in Meter Box leads to Service Line Cable Fire – Mostly Transformers don’t Trip and Fire Spreads through entire Service Line. Invariably Cars parked under service line are Burnt and people run to safety.

When One in Ten Thousand Building need or have Fire Safety, Every Distribution Transformer – 11 KV or 22 KV must have Protective Enclosures and Safety Devices in working order. SURAT FIRE SERVICE failed to respond in time – came 45 minutes late without Functional Ladders and Water – by then people had died of Suffocation or Jumped from the building. Functional Tenders arrived after the fire had spread to entire building when there was nothing to save except to Extinguish the Remaining Fire & Cool Building.

‘Primary Cause of Both Tragedies Was Bad Maintenance and Overloading of Distribution Transformers’ – Illegal Additional Construction was Secondary cause but in both cases PRIMARY Culprits were Let off Lightly and Secondary Culprits were PUNISHED SEVERELY. Had in 1997 India Punished Executive Engineer and DVB – millions of Accidents Related to Transformer Fires Could Have Been Prevented – Electricity Worth Rs. Lakhs of Crores Saved.

UPHAAR Tragedy was caused by TRANSFORMER FIRE – an Over Loaded and Badly Maintained Transformer in basement of the Cinema Hall EXPLODED and caught fire which spread RAPIDLY to vehicles parked next to it and entire building was filled with SMOKE – most victims died of Choking or Inhaling Carbon Monoxide & Poisonous Gases or Jumping from Balcony etc.

Chief Culprit of UPHAAR Tragedy – EE of DVB was let of Lightly and was Promoted and Retired as Chief Engineer Rank recently from BRPL. A year before UPHAAR TRAGEDY I complained to Delhi CM that DVB took bribes and sanctioned Two 200 KVA Connections to Two Newly built Buildings when 400 KVA transformer was already overloaded.

This was also Followed Up in PIL before National Consumer Forum– ‘Meters Labs and Workshops of Electricity Boards should Be ISI Certified’ in 1996.’ Electricity Boards buy all the Meters, Cables, Transformers, Switchgear conforming to ISI Standards but New Meters are OPENED and Fiddled – Safety Features in TRANSFORMERS are disable like Earth Fault Relay, Load Balance Relay, Overload Relay, Over Voltage Relay, Smart Energy Meters etc but their METERS & TRANSFORMER WORSHOPS MAINTAIN NO QUALITY STANDARDS.

Whenever there is Short Circuit in Service Lines – Transformer Doesn’t TRIP and Aluminum Conductors start Fire which Rapidly Spreads due to ENERGY SUPPLIED by Transformer. 

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