Every year Power Development Department (PDD) spend lakhs of rupees on renovation of offices of senior officers, purchase of official vehicles but when it comes to acquiring safety kits for linemen and other daily wagers who mostly handle the job of rectifying high tension power lines the PDD fairs poorly.
As per official records more than 100 daily wagers engaged in PDD have lost their lives and double the number have been left disabled in the last one decade as they were exposed to unsafe working conditions by their senior officers.
Many a times when these causal workers refuse to climb electric poles or handle other equipment without wearing safety kits they are threatened by their senior authorities. In many cases even the victims were denied adequate compensation.
On its part senior PDD authorities claimed that in some cases PDD linemen and other staff have been provided with safety kits but not all of them were utilising the same and shifting the blame on the PDD.
The PDD officers also maintained that there is acute shortage of safety kits and admitted the senior authorities must commit more resources to purchase safety kits to bring down the accident rate.It remains to be seen whether the PDD linemen would also discipline themselves and decide to climb the electric poles only after wearing safety kits to ensure their own safety.