No compensation scheme for daily wagers | KPDCL seeks financial assistance from officers for injured lineman

The order was issued by Superintendent Engineer (SE), KPDCL, O&M Circle Bijbehara and addressed to the Executive Engineer, KPDCL, STD-Bijbehara, ED Anantnag, ED Bijbehara, and ED Kulgam, and appealed for voluntary financial help for the victim.
No compensation scheme for daily wagers | KPDCL seeks financial assistance from officers for injured lineman
A Power Development Department (PDD) man repairs live wires amid snowfall in Srinagar's Downtown, on Saturday 8 January 2022.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Anantnag: The Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) has sought financial assistance from its staffers for the treatment of one of its daily-wage employees battling for life in a hospital.

Shabir Ahmad Dar, a casual labourer, was grievously injured after falling from an electricity pole in his native village Bogund in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.

Dar was restoring the power supply amid snowfall when the mishap occurred.

The order was issued by Superintendent Engineer (SE), KPDCL, O&M Circle Bijbehara and addressed to the Executive Engineer, KPDCL, STD-Bijbehara, ED Anantnag, ED Bijbehara, and ED Kulgam, and appealed for voluntary financial help for the victim.

“The worker is under treatment and might be craving for financial assistance. Since the labourer belongs to the low-paid section of the corporation and there is almost no provision for meeting his medical expenses, such heartfelt appeal is being made for mass financial support to the victim voluntarily. For this very purpose, you may please raise the appeal to all the staffers of your division for fetching maximum participation in the noble cause,” it reads.

The SE has called for voluntary contributions to be made at the divisional and sub-divisional level, and directly crediting the amount in the victim’s bank account.

Dar’s case though is not an isolated one.

Hundreds of such daily-wage casual labourers in Kashmir working as lineman have either been electrocuted to death or have been rendered handicapped while repairing the power supply lines.

In the past decade, 68 daily wagers were electrocuted to death and 280 others 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.

Chief Engineer, KPDCL, Ajaz Ahmad Dar assured the department would bear all medical expenses of the injured employee.

“At times, the department tries to raise funds for helping the family of the injured employee and the order by SE Bijbehara has been issued with that good intention,” Dar told Greater Kashmir.

He said that the department was also ensuring that the casual labourers get all the insurance benefits.

Dar said that they would implement the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit.

“We are also procuring the latest equipment to minimise injuries to the staff including lineman while repairing the lines or transformers,” he said.

Greater Kashmir
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