Low-hanging power cables in Khandsa a concern
A day after a three-year-old boy was electrocuted to death while playing on the rooftop of his house in Khandsa, which falls along the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, residents said they have been living in fear of electrocution for many years due to low-lying overhead high-tension wires.
Residents said there have been at least four cases of electrocution in the last one year. They demanded that the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHVBN) take steps to shift the high-tension power lines before more people are electrocuted.
Deepak Sharma, the father of the boy, said that the problem has been persisting since 1999, when an electric pole was shifted from the road due to the construction of a flyover at Hero Honda Chowk. “We had requested the DHBVN officials to increase the height of the cables as it was close to the rooftop, but they did not pay any heed to our request,” he said.
Dal Chand, another resident, said that despite making several representations to the DHVBN officials in the last 10 years, no step had been taken to move the electricity wires. “We do not send our children to the terrace and keep a close watch, but unfortunately, the boy gave his mother the slip and climbed the staircase. There is no play area outside and the roofs are unsafe. Where do the children play?” he said.
Pooja Sharma, the mother of the boy who died, said, “One of the passersby, who saw my son touching the cables, had raised the alarm. But before I could rush and take him away, his hands were charred. I have lost my son due to the negligence of the authorities and they should be booked for his murder,” she said.
Residents alleged that if the police do not lodge a case against the DHBVN, they would protest outside their office on Monday. “Not even one official came to inspect the situation despite multiple calls to them,” said Satbir Jangra, a resident.
Officials of the DHBVN said that the superintending engineer has formed two teams to prepare a report of the areas where the cables are hanging at low heights and to immediately resolve the issue.
DHBVN’s superintending engineer, Joginder Singh Hooda, refuted the allegations of the residents and said a subdivisional officer had gone to the spot to inspect the area. “During preliminary investigation, it was revealed that the family had illegally constructed another room on the encroached area. We are investigating and detailed reports are awaited from the officials, following which prompt action will be taken,” he said.
Devender Mann, station house officer of Sector 37 police station, said they have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). They have recorded the statement of the family members but haven’t received a complaint against the DHVBN officials.
“The body was handed over to the family after an autopsy on Friday. We are waiting for a complaint from the family,” he said.