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Lokayukta to probe past electrical accidents in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Lokayukta will start probing past incidents of negligence by ESCOMS in the state and hold officials concerned accountable,officials said.

The move is also aimed at identifying the reasons behind such accidents. The ombudsman believes that identifying the root cause would help fix accountability and initiate action to prevent suchaccidents.

The decision was prompted by the death of a 23-year-old woman and her nine-month-old baby after the woman stepped on a live electric wire on a footpath near Hope Farm in Whitefield, East Bengaluru on November 19. The Lokayukta had taken up a suo motu case in connection with the incident and hinted at an an extensive investigation.

In the order by Lokayukta Justice BS Patil, citing the BESCOM website, the Lokayukta observed that an average of 200 to 280 accidents occur every year and underscored the negligence on the part of the officials responsible for maintaining these electric lines.

The Lokayukta told DH, “It is the duty of every electricity supply company to maintain electric lines.”

“The aim is to ensure members of the public walk without any fear. The matter requires detailed investigation to find permanent solutions to such problems,” he said

Justice Patil toldDHthat the problem of fatal electric accidents is persistent not just in Bengaluru but across the state. “It is necessary to do a deep dive investigation to identify the underlying causes and recurring reasons behind this issue,” Justice Patil said. “The Lokayukta is committed to getting to the root of this and deciphering reasons behind such accidents.”

What is the process?

1) The major incidents of electric accidents causing the death of the public would be scoured and studied by the investigating officersand the experts in the field.

2) The reasons behind the accidents would be identified and listed.

3) Officials responsible would be served notices and interrogated if necessary. If any fault is recognised from their side, they would be held accountable.

4) Preventive measures would be drawn in the backdrop of the recurring reasons.

5) An SOP would be sent after strict deliberations

Major accidents

Nov 2023: A woman and her toddler killed after she stepped on a live wire in Bengaluru

August 2023: A 21-year-old suffers burns after an electric pole falls on her in Suddaguntepalya in Bengaluru

April 2023: Two 14-year-old children electrocuted after they accidentally came in contact with overhead power lines in Tumakuru

December 2022: A 13-year-old boy died after coming into contact with a high-tension wire in Nandini Layout, Bengaluru

July 2022: A 12-year-old boy died after wires dangling from an electricity pole fell on him while he was playing in Yeshwantpur

June 2021: Two farmers were electrocuted while they were working on a farm in Shikaripur of Shivamogga

Report getting ready

A detailed report about the death of a mother and her toddler near Hope Farm in Whitefield has been submitted by the investigating officer. A final report would be out by December end.

(Published 20 December 2023, 22:44 IST)

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