For years now this newspaper has been highlighting the plight of the filed staff in power department. How they are exposed to fatal risks, and each time a tragedy strikes, nothing changes on ground.
Last week we had another such tragedy at Kanchatpora village of Khag tehsil in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. A young life was lost, and the effects would now linger in the family for years together.
Before this incident we have had many where the field staff suffered badly. We have many cases of amputations, and deaths. Though accidents are part of life, and none can expect to completely eliminate the possibility of accidents.
But the question is, do we learn from these tragic incidents? In these cases where PDD field staff lost limbs, even lives, has the department instituted any meaningful enquiries into what caused accidents. And then, what steps where taken to minimise the possibility of such accidents.
The way domestic connection lines are attached to electric poles, one gets scared while having a look at it from ground. It is so dangerously haphazard. When the filed staff is asked to fix some connection on these electric poles, it is tantamount to putting them straight into beast's mouth.
Just because we have become habitual of this practice doesn't mean that all is well with it. In fact it is too dangerous for these linemen to climb the electric poles, and fix the connections. Most of the times these men mend live wires. They are so close to death.
The question that pops up is very straight. Does the department follow SOPs? Are the linemen equipped properly? Do we have a protective gear for these linemen? As we see it on roads and streets, no safety measures are ensured for these poor linemen. In any civilised part of the world it would amount to murder.
But here we have completely lost this sense, and we take it for granted. Now the next question. Those who become victims in these accidents, who takes care of their families? In many of these cases we have contractual employees, or simple daily wage labour, who become victims. They are all finally left to themselves in case they are seriously injured. And in case they lose life, their families have to fend for themselves. One cannot think of a bigger crime than that.