Why Earth Wire is provided in the overhead transmission lines?

Earth wire is provided above the overhead transmission lines for protection against lightning strokes. The ground wire or earth wire protects the phase conductors or line conductors by attracting itself the lightning strokes which in its absence would strike the phase conductors. Also the ground wire reduces the voltage electrostatically or electromagnetically induced in the conductors by the discharge of a neighboring cloud. It also provides the additional protective effect by causing the attenuation of traveling waves set in the lines by acting a short circuit secondary of the line current.