Millennium Post

Lurking death: Dangling wires spell trouble for people

Death lurks in every nook and corner for residents of Delhi with loose cables and snapped high-voltage wires dangling precariously.
Two electrocution deaths within a week during monsoon in the national capital proves this.

‘We live in constant fear as a common man’s life is of no value. Every monsoon, electrocution deaths are waiting to happen. The discom companies and the civic authorities have failed miserably in protecting people. Their lackadaisical approach towards safety is costing innocent lives,’ wails Surinder Singh who lost his brother Vinod.
Vinod, 35, was electrocuted on Wednesday when a rod he was holding accidentally touched the low-lying high-tension wire on the terrace.

‘There is no proper earthing in the area and the civic authorities keep delaying the matter. Government too turns a deaf ear to our complaints,’ Anil Bajpai of Residents Welfare Association Federation, east Delhi said.
‘We have sent letters to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) but in vain. We have requested Delhi’s new lieutenant-governor (Najeeb Jung) for an appointment to discuss civic issues,’ he added.

Not just Vinod, 32-year-old documentary filmmaker Anand Bhaskar Morla died in south Delhi’s Green Park Market after his car door brushed against an iron gate that was in contact with a live wire, placed negligently on a jewellery shop’s railings.
‘Power thefts, illegal constructions and encroachments of discom infrastructure are three main reasons for electrocution during monsoon in Delhi. On a regular basis, we (discoms) remove large quantities of illegal wires from overhead systems and yet unscrupulous elements indulge in power thefts and puncture the over-head electricity cables,’ a discom official said.
He pointed out that at times, local cable TV operators string their cables illegally and in a haphazard manner on a electricity distribution company’s (discoms) poles.

‘We regularly disconnect these cables. These wires can have bare and exposed joints. When these exposed wires come in contact with a pool of water or an iron railing, they become ‘charged’. These can become a conductor of electricity, especially during the rainy season,’ the official added.
Meanwhile, the civic authorities have passed the buck on to the Delhi government.
‘Government is hand in glove with power companies, and not doing anything. Another problem is that of unauthorised colonies. The unplanned constructions are also to be blamed, so it is both the callous attitude of government and ignorance of people,’ Mahender Nagpal, leader of the house in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, said.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 8,750 people across the country lost their lives due to electrocution last year. In Delhi alone, 153 people died after coming in contact with live wires.
‘Most deaths are recorded during rainy season,’ an NCRB official said.

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