On November 19, after celebrating Deepavali in Tamil Nadu, 23-year-old Soundharya and her nine-month-old daughter Suviksha returned to Bengaluru, along with her husband Santosh Kumar. After deboarding a bus at Silk Board junction, the family took a bus to Hope Farm junction in the city’s eastern part.
What followed were moments of horror. The young mother and her baby were charred to death on the footpath they were walking on. They had stepped on a live electrical conductor that had snapped. Kumar, who tried to save his wife and daughter, also suffered an electric shock.
The tragic accident caused an uproar in the city, with the public and political leaders from the Opposition demanding swift action and accountability.
However, this was not an isolated incident. According to statistics shared by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom), which has jurisdiction over eight districts, including Karnataka’s capital, between the financial years 2018-19 and 2023-24 (until October), there have been 607 fatal electrical accidents. While 572 of them were non-departmental (members of the public), 35 of them were departmental.
Apart from this, there were also 203 non-fatal, non-departmental accidents, and 168 non-fatal departmental accidents in these five years.
Why do so many electrocutions happen in the city, turning footpaths into potential death traps? The Hindu spoke to a former advisory member of the KERC, MG Prabhakar.
Victims are also not aware of the legal action they can take. We spoke to advocate Shridhar Prabhu.
Read the full story here.
Report, script, presentation: Jahnavi TR
Videography and production: Ravichandran N