Bengaluru’s Milestone: Inauguration of India’s First Underground Transformer Center

Bengaluru's Milestone: Inauguration of India's First Underground Transformer Center
Bengaluru's Milestone: Inauguration of India's First Underground Transformer Center

In a historic milestone for Bengaluru, Energy Minister KJ George unveiled India’s first underground transformer center, marking a significant leap forward in the city’s efforts to revamp its power distribution infrastructure. This monumental achievement underscores Bengaluru’s steadfast commitment to enhancing safety, dependability, and the aesthetic charm of its urban environment.

Situated on 15th Avenue in Malleswaram, the underground transformer center is the result of a collaborative venture between the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). With a budget of Rs 1.98 crore, this pioneering project boasts a robust 500 KVA capacity transformer. Historically, underground power transformer stations have been predominantly associated with Western nations, where an emphasis on public convenience and safety prevails.

To ensure the safety and convenience of Bengaluru’s residents, the underground center features a specially constructed chamber nestled beneath the earth’s surface. This chamber is fortified with a 30 mm cement block, providing a stable foundation for the electrical transformers. Positioned at a depth of 10 feet beneath the road’s surface, this innovative center establishes new benchmarks in power distribution. While BESCOM manages the electrical aspects, BBMP oversees the civil works. The station encompasses a 500 KVA capacity oil-free transformer, an 8-way solid-state ring main unit, a 5-way LT distribution box, UPS, a water pump, and an air control system. BBMP contributed Rs 64 lakh to fund the civil works, and the entire project was completed in a remarkable 365 days.

One of the standout features of this subterranean center is its robust safety measures. In the event of repairs or emergencies, a dedicated room within the chamber ensures convenient access for maintenance personnel. Designed akin to a water sump, this chamber is enclosed by concrete walls on all sides, mitigating any potential risks associated with transformer explosions or mishaps without impacting pedestrians or traffic above ground. This reduces the likelihood of accidents and power outages.

This ambitious initiative not only heightens the safety of the urban environment but also encourages residents to utilize footpaths without disruptions during maintenance of overhead cables and related equipment. Furthermore, it shields electrical equipment from the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions, such as extreme cold, heat, and heavy rainfall. Beyond its functional advantages, this intelligent underground distribution infrastructure eliminates significant visual clutter from the cityscape, thereby enhancing the overall urban aesthetics.