The pole in Haridevpur on the city’s southern fringes that 11-year-old Nitish Yadav touched and got electrocuted on Sunday evening was not earthed, the state power department has said in a report to Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
The report, submitted on Wednesday, also pointed out that the workmanship for installing a lamp on the pole did not meet the standards, said a KMC official.
KMC’s engineers have found out during an inspection that flawed drainage system was responsible for the waterlogging on Hafiz Mohammad Ishaq Road, where the child was electrocuted.
The chief engineers of some departments of the civic body will visit the area on Thursday and try to come up with an ad hoc measure to reduce waterlogging during the monsoon.
The Telegraph spoke to officials and engineers of the KMC to find out what had gone wrong in Haridevpur.
“The power department has pointed out two things. The electric pole was not earthed and the way the light and the wires were fitted to the pole was not how the work should have been done,” said an official of the KMC who has gone through the report.
“Action will be taken against four officials of the civic body’s electrical department whose duty is to detect flaws in the lighting system.”
Yadav was walking along a waterlogged Hafiz Mohammad Ishaq Road on his way to visit his teacher on Sunday when he held the pole, which was live.
The pole belongs to BSNL, while the light on it was installed by the KMC.
The KMC official said mayor Firhad Hakim was miffed with the negligence. “A life was lost and we have to be strict. The mayor has sternly told the electrical department that he does not want a repeat of what happened on Sunday,” the official said.
“Even if the contractor who fitted the light did not do the job properly, it was the responsibility of civic engineers to supervise and detect any defect in the work. KMC engineers cannot wash their hands of the matter.”
Had the pole been earthed, the chances of the boy getting electrocuted would have been far less, an expert said. Electricity would have flowed through the wire used to earth the pole and not the boy, he said.
“If the pole was earthed properly, the leaked current would have flowed through the wire used for earthing and gone underground. Since there was no earthing, the electricity flowed through the boy and went underground,” said Arindam Sil, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Jadavpur University. “Earthing is a basic necessity in an electric pole.”
Several senior engineers of the KMC, along with the mayoral council member in charge of drainage, Tarak Singh, visited the area in Haridevpur where the boy died.
“The drainage facility is not up to the mark,” said an engineer who had inspected the area earlier.
“The sewage water from Hafiz Mohammad Ishaq Road goes towards Raja Rammohan Roy Road so that it can flow to the Siriti drainage pumping station. From the station, the water is pumped out into a canal,” said the engineer.
“But the sewage from Hafiz Mohammad Ishaq Road backflows from its intersection with Raja Rammohan Roy and only a small volume of water seeps through. That is one of the reasons for the waterlogging on the road.
The chief engineers of a few departments of the civic body will visit the area again on Thursday to find out whether a pipeline could be laid to fix the problem.