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Human cost of power supply worries MPSEB

SUPPLYING POWER is an expensive business. Literally. companies of MP State Electricity Board (MPSEB) pay crores of rupees annually as compensation to the kin of those who lose their lives due to electrocution.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 17:43 IST

SUPPLYING POWER is an expensive business. Literally. companies of MP State Electricity Board (MPSEB) pay crores of rupees annually as compensation to the kin of those who lose their lives due to electrocution.

In all 143 people lost their lives and scores were wounded in the jurisdiction of MP Western Region Electricity Distribution Company in a span of just over a year from April 2004 to June 2005 due to electrocution for which the Company compensated by paying Rs 57.69 lakh.

In the jurisdiction of MP Western Region Electricity Distribution Company alone Rs 47.45 lakh were paid as compensation against the 404 accidents, which took place from April 2004 to March 2005 due to electrocution.

Out of the 404 cases of electrocution 116 proved fatal for men which caused death of 18 employees of the Company and 98 were outsiders. Number of non-fatal accidents was 136. Besides humans, animals were also not spared and 152 animals succumbed to electrocution.

However, the Company made efforts to contain this problem and in the first quarter of 2005 that is from April 2005 to June 2005, 27 cases of electrocution proved fatal for men and number of non-fatal electric shocks was 56 for men. Besides this 56 animals died of electrocution in this period. For this loss of lives Rs 10.24 lakh were paid as compensation.

If these figures are multiplied by four then we get approximate figures for the entire year which comes to 108 human deaths and against this loss of lives Rs 40.96 lakh would be required to be paid as compensation if it is paid at the same rate.

These figures give some relief as the compensation and number of fatal cases is comparatively less this year compared to the figures of previous year. Company has set a target of reducing accidents this year by 15 per cent.

Talking to Hindustan Times, MP Western Region electricity distribution Company superintending engineer said that these figures were demanded by MP electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) consequently they were presented before the Commission on January 10, 2006. MPERC is of the opinion that Government should fix some compensation amount for death due to electrocution and it should be given to the kin of the deceased irrespective of the fact whether claim is made or not.

MPERC maintained that this should be given as financial assistance. The superintending engineer maintained that major reasons of electrocution are not following safety rules, unauthorised tapping of energy and not wearing safety kit. He insisted that to prevent electrocution, after isolating the line from live mains it should be discharged to ensure that there is no current in the line.

This is one major reason of accidents. He suggested that consumers could mitigate the problem of electrocution by maintaining proper earthing and the house should be at a distance of four feet from the line. Hooking of wire on the line is a bane for the Company and this should be avoided. He further said that not wearing socks, gloves, helmet and safety belts are other reasons of accidents.

Superintending engineer opined that electrical inspector does analysis of accidents and he does inspection of the site of accident and analyses the cause of accident hence he is the man who should suggest remedial measures.

About 350 line staff members have been trained by the Company through refresher courses to prevent accidents due to electric shock. This year again such courses would be conducted by the Company to contain deaths due to this killer current.

First Published: Jan 17, 2006 17:43 IST