With floodwaters receding in most parts of Bengaluru, city residents are picking up the pieces and assessing the financial impact the disaster has left on them. The major financial blow has come in form of electricity infrastructure damage in their houses and apartments.
Experts are of the view that individual households will take a hit of around Rs 7 lakh to replace power meters and other related infrastructure post flood, while large complexes will have to spend up to Rs 50 lakh for the same to ensure safety from electrocution in future, as per an ET report.
Various other reports suggest that apartment dwellers may have to shell out Rs 10 to 15 lakh to replace the digital meters, lift cables, electrical panels, circuits, lighting, cables and switch boards.
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“If inverters, diesel gensets or batteries stored at the basement are to be considered, then each building owner must spend over Rs 40 to 50 lakh to replace all of them,” explained Ramesh Shivanna, an electrical engineer and former president of the energy and renewable energy committee of Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), in the ET report.
A senior engineer from Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bes-com) said flood waters contain impurities like sewage and salts such as calcium, magnesium and sodium. Besides damaging electrical infrastructure and appliances, they can also conduct electricity. “Citizens have to ensure that all water is drained out before taking up electrical repair work,” said D Nagarjuna, director (technical), Bescom.
K S Kumar, an electrical engineer and contractor, said: “Fearing huge costs, people normally do not replace utilities. But given the safety of family members and to avoid any possible mishaps in future, they must redo the infrastructure completely.
Apart from above-mentioned damages, car owners have also started assessing their losses and general insurance companies are receiving claim intimations for the same.
Prateek Madhukar, a resident of Whitefield, has been waiting for his car to be examined, after the Tata Altroz got stuck in waterlogging. Madhukar has not touched his vehicle since then, ToI reported.
Madhukar is among many citizens in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka who are knocking doors of insurance companies following the recent floods.
Insurance firms say while the actual impact will be known in the next couple of weeks, they are already receiving more queries about addons to existing insurances.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said while both motor and non-motor claims have gone up, motor insurance claims have risen more.
“Claims are predominantly due to vehicles breaking down or getting submerged in water. We anticipate additional claim intimations to be reported within the next few days,” Sasikumar Adidamu, chief distribution officer — institutional sales at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance told TOI.