Visakhapatnam: Disaster-resilient infra set to get a leg-up

A view of a lane at Anakapalle with recently installed spun poles
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A view of a lane at Anakapalle with recently installed spun poles

Highlights

  • APEPDCL aims to install as many as 13,160 spun concrete poles in the five districts under its ambit
  • With an estimated cost of Rs 106 crore, the project covers a coastal stretch of 800 km

Visakhapatnam: Aiming at strengthening the disaster resilient infrastructure to further reduce the risk, the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) has taken up the task of installing as many as 13,160 spun concrete poles in all the five districts that fall under its ambit and the work is nearing completion.

With the financial assistance extended by the World Bank, International Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank along with the government of Andhra Pradesh, the project covering a coastal stretch of 800-km has been taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 106 crore.

Since Srikakulam is more prone to cyclones, the authorities concerned laid greater focus on the district. "Initially, the proposal of putting up spun poles in Srikakulam was up to a 542-km long stretch. After a thorough survey, it has been brought down to 200-km wherein 6,160 spun poles will come up in the district. Of them, work related to 4,000 new poles has been completed," says K Raja Bapaiah, Director (Projects), APEPDCL.

Compared to the metallic poles, spun poles can resist a wind speed up to 200 kmph per hour. With a length of 12.5-mt, spun poles will be put up across Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts. "Apparently, the corona pandemic has delayed the process of installation. Now, with the work picking up pace, the project is likely to be wrapped up by December," adds Raja Bapaiah.

While Vizianagaram will get 500-plus spun poles along a 24-km stretch, Visakhapatnam will have over 2,800 spun poles that run along the 250-km radius. Of them, work pertaining to 420 and 1,500 spun poles has been concluded in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts respectively.

Similarly, of the proposed 2,800 and 880 spun poles in East and West Godavari, 2,200 and 770 spun poles have been installed in the two districts respectively.

The APEPDCL officials mention that the leftover stock of the poles will be adjusted in a 50-km radius along the vulnerable coastlines.

Though the initial estimates saw a total of 20,900 spun poles, the number has been reduced to 13,160 after the field survey as the metallic poles that are in good condition will be retained. With the installation of the spun poles, the five districts of Andhra Pradesh will be equipped with disaster resilient infrastructure which aids in bringing down property damage and prevents uprooting of electric poles caused during calamities to a large extent.

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