Are the lives of Goans linesmen so cheap? When will such accidents stop?

AERIAL VIEW
How many times have we complained about the power situation in our State, the lack of continuous power supply etc.? How many times have we given a thought to the people who repair the fault lines of the electrical grid? Do we really know the linemen’s State of affairs? Who keeps the power supply continuous and attends to all our complaints irrespective of time or weather conditions?
The situation of this the linesmen in Goa is pathetic. Understaffed, overworked, without safety gear and resulting in deaths.
Our linemen are the forgotten people who put their lives in danger and lose their lives only because there is a lack of will among the administration and the government to secure their safety by procuring safety gear for them.

 


 

SURAJ BNANDREKAR
Editor, Goemkarponn

On Wednesday afternoon, an electrical lineman was electrocuted in Sattari, which shocked the entire Goa. A sewerage line worked and drowned a few days back, while another one was rescued.
Now, who is responsible for such accidents? What is the responsibility of the government?
The government and we people are also to be blamed for such accidents as we keep calling and cursing the linesman even if it is heavily raining.
How many times have we complained about the power situation in our State, the lack of continuous power supply etc.? How many times have we given a thought to the people who repair the fault lines of the electrical grid? Do we really know the linemen’s State of affairs? Who keeps the power supply continuous and attends to all our complaints irrespective of time or weather conditions?
The situation of this the linesmen in Goa is pathetic. Understaffed, overworked, without safety gear and resulting in deaths.
Our linemen are the forgotten people who put their lives in danger and lose their lives only because there is a lack of will among the administration and the government to secure their safety by procuring safety gear for them. Governments continue to give lame excuses for not filling up the vacant linemen positions in the electricity boards and not rolling out tenders to get safety gears for the linemen.
Adding to this, there are overstressed workers who, on average, work extra hours a day, especially in the monsoons in Goa, when the power keeps tripping every day.
The situation gets worse for contractual labourers.
The linesman struggles in the heavy rains to get us the power to watch Netflix, Hotstar, Airconditioner, refrigerator, fans etc.
Now, what does the government do when a linesman? Absolutely nothing.
In 2020, three linesmen died due to a freak electrical accident in Borim. The government of Goa announced a family member would be given the job. But was that enough?
As urgent assistance, the Chief Minister then announced Rs 7 lakh compensation to each family, while the six injured employees were given Rs 20,000 each.
Is this compensation enough, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant? Power Minister Sudin Dhavalikar?
Recently, in Delhi, after such an accident, the government paid Rs 20,00,000 each and a job and made sure no linesman went on the field without protective gear. Why can’t we do that?
Why should the linesman and the department engineer lose life to the government’s negligence?
When we can spend thousands of crores in the name of cosmetic development, when not spend few crores for the safety of our essential workers, who toil day and night to keep us happy.
In 2019, Electricity Employees Union (Goa) threatened to agitate during the Assembly Sessions if the government did not give the line staff safety gear and rainwear and also address their other grievances already raised before the authorities.
Sources now say the Electricity department, as a token agreed and did give some protective gear, which they were sub-standard and not enough.

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