Casual Labour Electrocuted In Zakura, Employees Body Says ‘When Will It Stop’

Srinagar, Mar 11 : A casual labour of the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Ltd (erstwhile Power Development Department) died of electrocution in Zakura area of Srinagar city on Wednesday.

A police officer told GNS Tariq Ahmad Dar son of Ghulam Rasool received an electric shock while repairing a transmission line in Zakura area today at around 7:00 am.

Dar, a resident of Malbagh was seriously injured due to electric shock, said the officer.

He was immediately taken to health facility (Sub-Centre) Naseembagh where doctors declared him brought dead on arrival, said the officer.

Dar was working as a casual labourer in PDD department, he said.

Investigations are underway to see if there was any negligence on part of the power department.

Meanwhile, lashing out at the power department authorities, the employees under the banner of coordination committee said that there remains a huge gap between the Maintenance and STD wings.

“Every year the precious lives are lost. Be it a casual labour, other officials of the power department but the higher ups following deaths are seen grieving but with the passing of the time, such incidents of negligence are repeated,” a member of the coordination committee said.

Referring Zakura incident, either there (Zakura) electricity had gone for one hour and the labour might had taken advantage of it and tried to install new fuse line at HT but power department had restored the power to the area.

He said there is another possibility that the concerned beat officer had directed the labour to repair the line or the labourer had himself on seeing the woes of the people started to repair the technical snag. “It is matter of investigation whether or not the deceased had informed the concerned JE for repairmen work.”

At several times, he said: “We came to know that influential people make calls to higher level for restoring of electricity during cut hours. But it should also not happen in this emergency department as it will also lead casualties,” he said.

Before sending the casual labour for repairing lines, the concerned JE and other field staff should have check the line and take the test, he said.

In all these cases, the department should learn the lesson and should make a new protocol to prevent loss precious lives be it employees of the department or the commoner.

“We have seen several times employees dying, even JEs have died due to the department’s negligence,” he said.

At least there should be new equipments which other states are having for the casual labourers and linemen’s for repairing lines, he demanded.

“11KV hand gloves can prevent from electrocution. But unfortunately these gloves for safety are not available in the department. Besides Earthing link rods, safety belts, helmets, are also not available in the department,” he said, adding, “If such stock would have been available such mishaps be prevented. “

The coordination committee also lashed out at the then Chief Engineer for calling the lower rung staff having nexus on ground level and transferred over 600 employees. The higher ups should have first think over why there is not stock available in the department. “And most unfortunate thing is these casual labourers are without wages since year 2018,” he said.