चमोली में पिछले दिन एक व्यक्ति का सीवरेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट में बिजली के करंट से मौत होना और फिर दूसरी सुबह उसी जगह पर 16 लोगों की करंट लगने दुखद मौत हो जाना न केवल जनता के बल्कि सरकारी अधिकारियों के भी विद्युत सुरक्षा और सुरक्षा के प्रति लापरवाह रवैये को उजागर करता है। इस घटना के लिए आत्मनिरीक्षण, सुरक्षा प्रोटोकॉल और एसओपी की समीक्षा और व्यापक जागरूकता अभियान के साथ-साथ खामियों को दूर करने की आवश्यकता है ताकि जनता को बिजली के खतरों के बारे में जागरूक किया जा सके, ताकि यह सुनिश्चित किया जा सके कि इसी तरह की घटनाओं की पुनरावृत्ति न हो।
-by Piyoosh Rautela
The operator of the Namami Gange Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) operated by Jal Sansthan at Chamoli in Uttarakhand, Shri Ganesh was reportedly electrocuted on 18 July 2023.
The police team along with officials of Jal Sansthan and locals went to the incident site for inquest-related formalities of the deceased on 19 July 2023 around 1130 hrs. Due to reasons not yet ascertained 26 of these persons were electrocuted.
15 persons including Sub Inspector of Uttarakhand Police Pradeep Singh Rawat, In-Charge of Namami Gange STP Yogendra together with Home Guard personnel – Deepak Kumar, Gopal Singh Bastwal and Sobat Lal were killed in this incident.
11 persons were injured in this incident. The state government was quick to swing into action and provided the required support to the district administration that was present at the incident site from the very beginning.
Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat immediately took charge of the response and ensured that 06 critically injured are airlifted to AIIMS Rishikesh and directed concerned officials to ensure their welfare.
Due to adverse weather conditions, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami could not make it to the incident site but he immediately announced relief Rs. 5.0 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased while Rs. 1.0 lakh each is to be provided to the injured persons.
Electrocution: A cause of concern
Despite using electrical implements day in and day out, most of us are not aware of accompanying hazards, and we often take electricity as being granted.
Electrocution incidents are however a significant safety concern, and these are often caused by trivial issues related to poor or ill-maintained electrical infrastructure, lack or non-compliance of safety regulations, and inadequate investment in maintenance and upgradation.
Electrocution-related incidences are common in both rural and urban areas and are often associated with accidents involving electrical equipment and power lines.
On 28 July 2019, more than 20 persons were electrocuted on the railway tracks of Mumbai Suburban Railways and the incidence is attributed to faulty electrical installations or water-logging.
After June 22 May 2018 of Cyclone Amphan, 14 persons were electrocuted in Kolkatta in West Bengal, when a live electrical wire fell into a pond they were bathing. incidences
Electrocution – Causes
Electrocution-related accidents can occur due to a wide variety of causes, but based on the investigations undertaken after major incidences following are listed as the primary reasons:
Faulty electrical installations: It relates to improperly installed or poorly maintained electrical systems that often result in accidents, especially in homes and workplaces.
Contact with live wires: Accidental contact with live electrical wires, whether due to low-hanging cables or fallen power lines, often results in severe injuries or fatalities. It is a cause of concern during religious events wherein unusually high processions are allowed.
Unsafe work practices: Workers in various industries, such as construction and maintenance, face electrocution risk due to noncompliance with safety protocols.
Flooding: During heavy rains and flooding, electrical equipment often becomes hazardous if the same is submerged in water.
Lacking awareness: Lack of public awareness regarding electrical safety often results in accidents, especially among children.
Way forward for safety
One person was electrocuted the previous day and the one going to investigate the matter the other day not resorting to minimal safety protocols is enough to highlight the very fact that the masses and officials at the grassroots are unaware of the bare minimum of electrical safety.
Besides awareness, we therefore need to improve upon a number of fronts and there include;
Mass awareness: It is a must that the masses be educated on the likely electrical hazards together with losses it could incur and measures by which the losses could be averted.
Safety regulations: Enforcing strict safety standards and regulations related to electrical installations and maintenance can enhance safety levels.
Training and certification: Ensuring that electrical workers and professionals undergo proper training and certification can lead to safer work practices.
Maintenance: Timely inspection and maintenance of electrical infrastructure and power lines can prevent accidents caused by wear and tear.
Use of technology: Implementing modern technologies like fault detection systems and safety devices can help in the early identification and prevention of hazards.
Stray electrocution the previous day, followed by major electrocution yesterday highlights the casual attitude of not only the masses but also that of government officials towards electrical harad and safety. The incidence warrants introspection, review of safety protocols and SOPs, and plugging loopholes together with a comprehensive awareness drive to make the masses aware of electrical hazards, so as to ensure that similar incidences are not repeated.