Monday, 30th October 2017

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Neglect hint in Jamshedpur mishap

Labourers were working unsupervised on public holiday

By Our Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 11.09.19, 12:40 AM
  • Updated 11.09.19, 12:40 AM
  • a min read
Injured workers of Gupta Transformers at Tata Main Hospital, Jamshedpur, on Monday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta

Five of 12 contract labourers, who on Monday received burn injuries while working for an outsourced agency of Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd (JBVNL), have received over 50 per cent burns and are being treated at Tata Main Hospital.

A day after the mishap, it is not yet clear why the contract workers were on the job on Karma festival, a public holiday in Jharkhand. The workers were also completely unsupervised.

No technician or executive from the discom’s outsourced agency Gupta Transformers, nor any junior engineer from the state discom was present on the site where the 13-metre-high pole to draw the LT (low-tension) line for Indira Colony’s electrification was being fixed manually.

Workers hired by Gupta Transformers sustained burns when the cement pole they were installing at Indira Colony came within the radiation zone of a 2.2 lakh KV overhead high-tension line.

An injured worker, who did not want to be named, said they fixed five poles manually on Monday though it was a public holiday for Karma. “Some of us dug the pit for the sixth pole and some others carried the cement pole to put inside the pit. Suddenly the pole became electrically charged, causing all of us to sustain burns,” he said. “I don’t know what went wrong. There was no supervisor at the site to guide us, neither from Gupta Transformers nor from JBVNL.”

When this paper asked junior engineer of JBVNL (Pardih section) Suresh Chaudhury why he was not present on the site when energy department rules state he had to be there, Chaudhury said: “We had informed Gupta Transformers there will be no work on Monday and Tuesday owing to Karma and Muharram, which are public holidays. Disobeying our instructions, the agency had sent its team to Pardih to install poles.” He claimed he lodged an FIR with Mango police late on Monday night against Gupta Transformers for disobeying the department’s instruction.

Till Tuesday afternoon, Mango OC Arun Kumar Mehta however said he received no FIR from anyone regarding the Pardih mishap. “Neither from the JBVNL nor from any other agency,” he said.

Project manager of Gupta Transformers Swapnil Srivastava declined to speak to this reporter.

Earlier, JBVNL had allowed another of its outsourced agencies, Voltas, to lay a 33 KV power line from Baliguma to Gajadih without safety provisions, which The Telegraph had reported.