An 11-year-old boy on his way to tuition in Haridevpur on the city's southern fringes got electrocuted on Sunday evening after coming into contact with an iron “lamp post” from which an electric wire was hanging, police said.
Nitish Yadav, who died, was a student of Class VI at a local school.
The boy touched the pole on Hafiz Mohammad Ishaque Road in Paschim Putiari, near 41 Pally Club, in Haridevpur. The stretch was flooded and the boy was possibly struggling to wade through the water when he held onto the pole, the police said.
Around 6.10pm, bystanders noticed Nitish, wearing a T-shirt and a khaki pant, lying in water. One of his arms lay around his chest, the other was in water.
“Today, around 6.52pm, a boy named Nitish Yadav somehow got electrocuted from a waterlogged lamp post on Hafiz Md Ishaq Road,” said the deputy commissioner of police, south-west, Saumya Roy.
Last September, two 12-year-old girls who were returning from tuition classes through a waterlogged street in Dum Dum were electrocuted when one of them accidentally came in contact with an iron post wrapped with a livewire and the other rushed to her rescue.
Haridevpur residents alerted the police before rushing the boy to MR Bangur Superspeciality Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
Police sources said the lamp post was set up by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to support wires from a main supply line of CESC.
Sources said all lamp posts in Kolkata are maintained by the KMC.
The mayoral council member-in-charge of the lighting department, Sandip Ranjan Bakshi, however, denied that the pole belonged to the KMC.
“It is a defunct street pole that belonged to BSNL. We did not install any light there. Someone wound electric wires and fitted a light there,” said Bakshi.
“Moreover, KMC switches on street lights at 6pm during summer. The accident happened before 6pm.”
A CESC spokesperson said a team of engineers was at the accident site, investigating the matter. CESC’s supply cables, the spokesperson pointed out, are underground.
“We have learnt that Nitish was a resident of 13/17 Hafiz Mohammad Ishaque Road and was headed for his tuition class when he held onto an electrical post. He was immediately electrocuted,” said a senior officer of Haridevpur police station.
“A case of unnatural death has been drawn up and a probe has been started to know the exact cause of death.”
Nitish was the only son of his parents. His father drives a taxi to earn a living and his mother is a homemaker.
Angry residents, demanding justice for the boy, blocked the road and allegedly tried to prevent police and power utility personnel from approaching the site.
Later, a bigger police contingent reached the spot and removed the blockade.
Many residents said waterlogging had made their life insufferable.
“A project to improve drainage of stormwater is on in this area under the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Programme. A pumping station is being set up. As a result of the ongoing construction work, water gets collected in some pockets,” local councillor Ratna Sur told The Telegraph.
“I’m not aware how the accident took place. But if our efforts to solve the water woes have resulted in the death, it is very painful.”
Civic officials said Hafiz Mohammad Ishaque Road is flanked by wards 115 and 122.
The Rs 125-crore project is being funded by the Asian Development Bank. The work, which includes laying huge pipes and setting up of a pumping station, will take at least a year and a half to be completed.