In an incident that occurred on 5 March 2017, a labourer died of electrocution in a popular area of Srinagar, J&K. The gruesome incident was captured on camera which showed two workers stuck on the hi-tension wire. His companion, who too was electrocuted, survived with crippling, gory injuries in the tragedy.
Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (JKPDD) seems to have learnt no lesson from the gory incident in which a labourer was filmed dying a painful and pathetic death on an electric pole in heart of Srinagar in Kashmir valley on 5 March 2017.
“A total of 48 people have lost lives, most of them due to electrocution in the last two years,” Mir Abdus Salam Rajpuri, President of J&K Electrical Employees Union informed.
Workers work without safety gear
Often seen working on transmission lines, these workers carry out their work without safety gear. “There is a provision to provide training for one week and supply safety gear to all technical staff before sending them on field jobs. But the department doesn’t provide training or safety gear. We have been protesting against this but nobody is responding,” Rajpuri said.
Compensation in case of hazard?
Rajpuri said, “Any employee who faces death or serious injury on duty is supposed to get compensation from the department. But there is a tedious legal process. There should be a field inspection report followed by a FIR. When FIR is filed, the responsibility will ultimately be fixed with the higher level officials like Executive Engineer. So they avoid filing a FIR and the affected employees don’t get compensation. There is no provision to pay compensation to the hired labourers.”
Twenty-nine regular and need-based workers perished on duty in Kashmir while 19 employees died in Jammu Province. Against the loss of 48 human lives, three employees – one posted at Kathua and two at Jammu – were suspended for negligence in two years. The administration has remained apathetic towards these workers for many years now. These workers have been killed on duty, as a result of negligence on behalf of concerned authorities who failed to provide them necessary protective gear and lacks provisions to compensate them in a case of any hazard.