Electrocution toll mounts in city

Survey of properties built close to high-tension cables ordered

A four-day-long battle for life ended on Tuesday night for the 13-year-old girl who had sustained burns after coming in contact with a high-tension line at A. Narayanapura. In another incident, a 31-year-old lineman who was fixing a cable at R.T. Nagar was allegedly electrocuted on Monday.

These take the electrocution death toll in the city since February to eight, forcing local authorities to conduct a city-wide survey of properties built close to high-tension cables.

On May 25 afternoon, Priya, 13, suffered burns after coming in contact with a 66-kV line.

According to Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd., she was playing with a mop on the terrace of her house and accidentally touched the line that was one metre away from her. She suffered 80% burns and was admitted to Victoria Hospital.

While doctors attempted to treat her, the severity of burns meant it was a losing battle. She breathed her last on Tuesday night. Her sister, who had suffered burns of a lesser degree, is being attended to at the hospital. She is said to be stable.

Lineman dies

Ashok Kumar, 31, a resident of Mathadahalli near R.T. Nagar, who works as an assistant lineman for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), was electrocuted allegedly while attending to a live snapped cable on Monday. The incident came to light on Wednesday, two days after his wife filed a complaint with the R.T. Nagar police against Bescom.

According to the complaint, on Monday, Kumar and his immediate superior, lineman Rajaram, were asked to attend to a cable that had snapped following heavy rain. On reaching the spot, Kumar was asked to climb the pole and reattach the wire. However, power supply had not been switched off and Kumar was electrocuted. He fell from the pole, and died on the way to a hospital.

His wife, Ashwini V.P., filed a complaint against Byre Gowda, Bescom Assistant Executive Engineer; Shivaji Rao, Assistant Engineer; Lokesh, Joint Engineer; and Rajaram. They have been charged with death due to negligence.

Meanwhile, doctors are also treating Satish, 26, a plumber who suffered over 50% burns when he was working in an under-construction building at Manjunathnagar, near Chord Road, on Monday. He too had come in proximity of a high-tension power line near the site. “His condition is stable. But, there are chances of infections in the long run,” said K.T. Ramesh, head of the burns ward at the Victoria Hospital.

Mayor orders survey

At a meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun ordered a joint survey of all legal and illegal properties built under KPTCL power lines in the city. The joint survey would be done by BBMP, Bescom, and KPTCL officials and a report submitted within 10 days, she said.

The process of surveying would also create awareness about the dangers of living close to high-tension power lines and warn people from going on the terraces of such structures, where many of the electrocution incidents have taken place, said the Mayor.

BBMP officers were instructed not to give permission to new constructions close to these power lines.

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