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HC seeks AAP govt, discoms’ response on safety standards of electric poles

HC seeks AAP govt, discoms’ response on safety standards of electric poles
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the responses of AAP government and three power distribution companies on a plea seeking a direction to comply with necessary safety standards while installing electric poles to prevent accidental death.

A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also asked Delhi government and the three discoms to file their action taken reports with regard to the alleged death that takes place due to the exposed wiring.

“We appreciate the rules you have amended but what steps you have taken to save the life of the people? You file your action taken report with regard to the incident of death due to uncovered live wires on electricity poles,” the Bench said.

It said that same be done before January 25, next year.

The PIL, filed by NGO Common Cause through advocate Meera Bhatia, has sought directions to “ensure that uncovered live wires on electricity poles and power infrastructure on the ground do not pose a hazard to residents”.

The petition has contended that the agencies concerned had “ignored and not implemented the recommendations of various expert committees to replace overhead lines with underground cables”. She has also sought safeguarding the right to life guaranteed under the Constitution.

The PIL said around 29 people have been electrocuted and over 40 others injured after touching live wires in the city since 2008. Incidents of electrocution reported in the media have also been cited in the PIL.

Noting that in most cases, complaints about the exposed wiring had been sent to the appropriate authorities before an incident occurred, the NGO has alleged that “negligence and callous attitude of the discoms in ensuring safety standards in installing, maintaining electricity supply lines and apparatus results in many avoidable deaths on the streets”.

Seeking directions against Delhi government’s power company and three discoms, the NGO has said in the plea that they have not complied with the “prescribed safety standards” due to which not only the public, but in several other cases, the employees of municipal bodies and electricity companies have also been electrocuted due to negligence.  
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