Anantnag, Jan 14: A lineman, working as a daily wager in the Power Development Department (PDD), Friday succumbed to injuries which he sustained after falling off a utility pole in Bogund village of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district five days ago.
Shabir Ahmad Dar was repairing an electric line when he fell from the electric pole.
He was shifted to District Hospital Kulgam from where he was referred to a Srinagar hospital for advanced treatment.
“Dar succumbed to his injuries Friday morning,” his family said.
The deceased casual labourer is survived by a wife, 35, son, 13, and mother.
“The family was already living in penury in a small muddy house. Now they have lost their only support,” said their neighbour Muhammad Rafiq.
The villagers asked the government to rehabilitate the family.
“Dar worked hard and despite getting peanuts in wages would remain at the forefront restoring electricity supply,” they said.
Dar is not the only one to lose his life performing duty.
Hundreds of these daily-wage casual labourers working as a lineman in Kashmir have been electrocuted to death or rendered handicapped while repairing the power supply lines and transformers.
In the past decade alone, 68 daily wagers have been electrocuted to death while 280 paralysed for life.
However, in the absence of a compensation scheme for the victims of accidents and lack of ample safety gear these casual labourers continue to suffer unheard and unnoticed.
The casual labourers have not been regularised either even after decades of service.
Earlier, Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) Chief Engineer, Ajaz Ahmad Dar said that the department would bear all medical expenses of the injured employee.
An order was also issued by Superintendent Engineer, KPDCL, O&M circle Bijbehara and addressed to Executive Engineer, KPDCL, STD-Bijbehara, ED Anantnag, ED Bijbehara, and ED Kulgam seeking voluntary financial help for the victim.