How many times have we complained about the power situation in our country, the lack of continuous power supply etc? How many times have we have given a thought about the people who repair the fault lines of India’s electrical grid? The state of affairs of the linemen who keep the power supply continuous and attend to all our complaints irrespective of time or weather conditions.
So what is the situation like for the linesmen in India? Understaffed, overworked, without safety gears and resulting in hundreds of deaths every year, Indian linemen are the forgotten people who put their life in danger and lose their lives only because there is a lack of will among the administration and the government to secure their safety by procuring safety gears for them. Governments continue to give lame excuses for not filling up the vacant positions of linemen in the electricity boards and not rolling out tenders to get safety gears for the linemen. Adding to this, there are overstressed workers who on an average work 12 hours a day, a situation which gets worse for contractual labourers.
In Chandigarh for example, according to records, against the sanctioned strength of 625 assistant linemen, currently there are only 286 linemen in the UT Electricity Department. Further, even though 250 linemen have been sanctioned by the Electricity Department, currently only 157 are working.
According to a report on Yahoo News:
- There are reportedly 1,400 deaths in three years across India due to electricity related accidents.
- In Odisha, 77 electricity board workers lost their lives in 2009-10 while 84 died in 2010-11.
- In Jharkhand, two-three deaths occur every two months.
- In Rajasthan, 33 discom employees have died this year on duty, while last year, 36 deaths had been reported. Although, officials admit actual numbers could be three times more.
- Three linemen deaths reported in Nagpur last year; eight had died the year before that.
The Logical Indian strongly condemns the lackadaisical approach of the government towards the linesmen working in the electricity boards even after so many deaths. We demand the government to take this issue up on a war footing and secure the citizens who are risking their lives to ensure there is seamless power transmission.