Films imitate life or is it vice versa? If the linemen of the electricity department at Bhilwara are to be believed films have given them a brilliant idea to make their job easier. A scene from a south Indian dubbed film had a man climbing a pole with fabricated iron shoes that could be fixed on the pole.One of the linemen working with the Ajmer Discom at Bhilwara saw it and decided to get similar shoes fabricated to end his pole climbing woes. What is the linemen’s problem – The linemen have to climb poles to rectify faults which necessitates carrying a ladder, that further makes presence of two employees necessary so that the ladder can be carried. Once the lineman climbs the ladder, he needs to use one hand to keep his balance and connection with the pole. It further necessitates a vehicle to carry the ladder. When linemen travel to distant rural areas, they have to hire ladders. How the shoes were fabricated – The linemen went to a local ironsmith and got the shoes fabricated. That too at a cost below Rs 500. The plastic shoes to be worn with then came at Rs 400 approximately. So at a nominal cost, the linemen were all set to climb poles much like spidermen. The fame of the shoes spread across villages and now linemen in 25 panchayats of Bhilwara are using the shoes to make their job easier. “We climb up the poles in a jiffy. Can travel to the location on motorcycles. The shoes are a boon,” said Sakruddin, a lineman. But there is a catch to the innovative shoes; iron is a bad conductor and linemen are at a risk. But as it is not an official contraption, the department is legally not responsible. According to official sources, “The linemen are doing it on their own. The department has not issued the shoes or asked them to use them. There is a risk of electrocution.” The linemen have a philosophical view, “The poles are made of cement and so are safe. As for the electricity wires, we are at risk even when using the ladders.” said Vinod Jat, a lineman. The electricity department has however, not issued any advisory or instructions about the possible risk of using the shoes.
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Reel to real: How a south Indian movie gave shoe-tastic idea to this Rajasthan lineman!