How many more citizens will lose their lives due to electrocution from open or loose wires of light posts while wading through waterlogged roads in Kolkata, will depend on what measures the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will now take after an investigation report is submitted in next two days over a minor’s electrocution death at a waterlogged road in Haridevpur area.
The victim, identified as Nitish Yadav (12) was electrocuted to death on Sunday evening at Hafiz Mohammad Ishaq road, at Haridevpur. The boy is said to have accidentally touched an electric pole to retain balance as he was wading through knee-deep water. The incident adds to a list of many such deaths that occur in the city, every year, especially prior to and during monsoon.
The civic body has now ordered an investigation into the incident and assured that an FIR will be filed against the ones responsible for this incident. The probe panel will have all stakeholders of power distribution in the city. The probe will be monitored by the KMC commissioner.
Mayor Firhad Hakim has expressed condolences but remarked that he had already asked the DG of the KMC’s electric department to check all such electric posts for any loose wires, or open-wire boxes. This has sparked questions, such as, do the officials, after being instructed to carry out work not submit any action taken report to the mayor? The TMC councillor of the ward in Haridevpur, Ratna Sur, said, the light post concerned belonged to the BSNL and was being used by KMC. The area surrounding the post was dug up recently for electrical work.
Meanwhile, on the issue of waterlogging, the councillor said her request to activate drainage pumps to rid the street of the stagnant water, fell on deaf ears as she was allegedly told that no work order was issued to take such an action. It is to be noted that the member mayor in council (MMiC) of the sewerage and drainage department of KMC, Mr Tarak Singh, swore in the well of the House during KMC’s last monthly meeting that he will resign if there is any waterlogging in the city, this year, regardless of the amount of rainfall.
The residents of the area in Haridevpur complained that even a scant amount of rain causes waterlogging in this area and the water remains for five to six days. The neighbours alleged that water was only drained using pumps once the electrocution incident took place.