A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath has given the government and three discoms two months to enforce safety standards while installing poles.
“We appreciate the rules you have amended but what steps you have taken to save the life of the people? You file your report with regard to the incident of death due to uncovered live wires on electricity poles,” the bench said.
The court’s directions came while hearing a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause through advocate Meera Bhatia seeking directions to “ensure uncovered wires on poles and power infrastructure on the ground do not pose a hazard to residents”.
As per the PIL, the agencies “ignored recommendations of various committees to replace overhead lines with underground cables”. Bhatia has also invoked the right to life guaranteed under the Constitution.It argued that 29 people have been electrocuted and over 40 injured due to live wires since 2008. tnnIncidents of electrocution reported in the media have also been cited in the PIL.
Noting that in most cases, complaints about the exposed wiring had been sent to the appropriate authorities before an incident occurred, the NGO has alleged that “negligence and callous attitude of the discoms in ensuring safety standards while installing and maintaining power supply lines and apparatus results in many avoidable deaths.”
Seeking directions against Delhi government and the discoms, the NGO has also said they have not complied with the “prescribed safety standards” due to which not only the public, but in several other cases, the employees of municipal bodies and electricity companies have also been electrocuted.