Residents of Tambaram are fuming in anger over the electrocution of a 12-year-old boy on Jan. 1. It was the evening of January 1 when a 12-year-old boy, who went up the terrace of a house, located at the intersection of Kakkan Street and Mudichur Road in West Tambaram was electrocuted on the spot, when he came into direct contact with the 11 kv high tension power supply cables. The boy Bawaz, son of a lorry driver working in Saudi Arabia, had accompanied his mother to the residence of a family friend.
The power cables, that normally travel at a good 3 to 4 feet from the margins of buildings, in this case, was passing through the terrace of the house. The reason – the post supporting the cables had tilted. Staff of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) argued that the reason for the faulty to tilt towards the building was due to a minor accident when a lorry rammed into the post more than a fortnight ago.
The accident took place on Tuesday, January 1. On Wednesday morning, a team of staff and engineers from TANGEDCO, Tambaram, reached the spot along with an earth mover and machines to replace the post, which they said was damaged and had tilted considerably resulting in the cables too passing through the terrace of the house, where the boy died.
The iron post however was not replaced. The high tension cables from this faulty post were transported through a small underground duct to the next post. Workers also pulled the post using an earthmover and installed it back to its upright position.
Neighbours were visibly upset over the accident, what could have been avoided according to them. S. Kamalakannan, a resident of Mudichur Road said the TANGEDCO was a department that needed to be injected with a healthy dose of modernisation.
Pointing out to a recent initiative of TANGEDCO in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur Municipalities to incorporate sophisticated technology like Global Positioning System for quick redressal of grievances or attending to problems from subscribers, Mr. Kamalakannan wondered why the department was still adopting age-old techniques.
Power supply cables hanging precariously close to the balcony or terrace of houses and commercial complexes was so common, pointed out P.Grace of West Tambaram. She said neighbours were shocked when they learnt about the incident. Elected representatives of Tambaram Municipality too were of the view that a complete safety audit of power supply related issues should be made and risk factors completely eliminated.
TANGEDCO staff said in the Tuesday evening incident, the department could not be blamed for callousness. The post supporting the cables was removed by Wednesday evening.
As it was located at the corner – at the intersection of Kakkan Street and Mudichur Road, removing it would also ease traffic congestion. They said heavy vehicles, while backing up, would brace past the post and about a month ago, a lorry had rammed into it, causing it to tilt. This had subsequently resulted in the cables passing through the terrace, the staff added.
Residents were simply not convinced and argued that no excuse could be tolerated in this accident and that the death of a young innocent boy was caused due to the carelessness of the government agencies.
Residents are fuming in anger over boy’s electrocution.