The recent electrocution of a youth has once again put a question mark on safety measures adopted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL).
The victim,21-year-old S Sahu,was electrocuted late on Sunday when his bicycle fell on an open distribution point (DP) box in Bhosari. He was rushed to PCMC-run Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital where he was declared dead. K Sahu,the victims relative,said had the MSEDCL covered the DP box,the incident would not have occurred.
MSEDCL officials blame the incident on scrap dealers who steal the covers of DP boxes.
We have been facing this problem for long. On Thursdays,when there is a power shutdown for maintenance,scrap collectors steal covers of DP boxes. We have found that they also steal oil from transformers. This is extremely dangerous. They could lose their lives instantly if the power is restored, said MSEDCLs Bhosari division executive engineer Dharamraj Pethkar.
He added that covers of DP boxes have been regularly reported stolen only on Thursdays. MSEDCL suffers huge losses because of these thefts. We are now trying to find if we could get covers that cant be removed easily, said Pethkar.
On Sahus death,MSEDCL officials said they immediately sanctioned Rs 10,000 for his next of kin. So far,we have not been able to locate his close relatives. We will hand over Rs 10,000 as immediate assitance to his relatives if they approach us, Pethkar said. He said electricity inspectors will probe the incident. After we receive the report,we will decide on quantum of compensation as per norms, he said.
Residents said in Bhosari,Indrayani Nagar,Landewad,Phulenagar,Shahunagar areas,open DP boxes wasnt a new phenomenon. Also,transformers often catch fire, said activist Sachin Godambe.