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PATRIOTIC PEOPLE’S FRONT ASSAM APPEALS FOR ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT ELECTROCUTION DEATHS

February 21, 2018 09:26 AM

Guwahati (Face2News)

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), while appreciating the State chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal for issuing timely directive to the power department to prevent electrocution casualties in the coming monsoon season, urges for a pragmatic action  plan on the layout of high voltage live wires and its timely  maintenance.  Expressing serious concern over the deaths of many individuals due to  electrocution across the country, the forum insists on adequate public  awareness about the safe use of electrical appliances and finally  proposes for a national debate over the reduction of standard domestic  supply voltages from 240 (alternate current with 50 hertz) to 120 or  even lower in volt differences.

Statistics reveal that Assam lost 979 human lives due to electrocution since 2001-02, where the highest number of electrocution casualties (88) was recorded in 2016-17. More shockingly the State witnessed 57  electrocution related deaths in the last monsoon (April, May, June and  July of 2017) spell.  

It may be noted that Sonowal, while chairing a power department  meeting asked the officials to put in place all the precautionary measures to avert the incidents of electrocuted deaths during the  forthcoming monsoon season in the State. He ordered the department to replace bamboo electric poles, if there is any, with the concrete ones
before the onset of monsoon. 

He also emphasized on public awareness about the electrical risk areas and directed the concerned officers to undertake extensive tours to all the localities to oversee important electric  installations and help the department to forge cordial relationship with the locals. At the same time, Sonowal preferred the department to engage more local youths in the power project implementations.

The PPFA in a statement batted for public awareness over the use of proper fuse wires (or other protective arrangements) as a precautionary measure in all electrical systems. Replacing the fuse wire with other conductors (of high current rating) in the electrical equipments is nothing but inviting a disaster, claimed the statement. “As the electrical wiring can create public health hazards, the authority must deal with the safety issue in right perspective. Hence the State electricity department should create a responsive safety department along with trained safety officers at the earliest,”  pointed out the forum.  India as a nation witnesses nearly 10000 people killed annually  because of electrocution. Accidental electrocution (including few  suicidal attempts) cases are reportedly high in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra  Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha,
Uttarkhand, Assam etc.

Statistics reveal that Assam lost 979 human lives due to electrocution since 2001-02, where the highest number of electrocution casualties (88) was recorded in 2016-17. More shockingly the State witnessed 57  electrocution related deaths in the last monsoon (April, May, June and  July of 2017) spell.  

“Finally India should debate whether 110/120 volt may be an adoptable option in place of present 220/240 volt to reduce the fatality of the  system. At least developed nations like USA, UK and even our Asian friend Japan use lower volt lines to reduce the risk factors,” stated the forum adding that even if the initiative would need huge resources, the nation must put its weight for precious human lives.

Multiple independent live/phases (each of 110/120 volt) with one neutral wire arrangement can be adopted where the customers may opt for single phase line only to use in lighting (preferably with LED bulbs), digital screening of television, computer, mobile phones etc  and low watt fans, pointed out the statement. Others, who prefer to use heavy electrical appliances, may go for multi-phase supply lines, it added.

Endorsed by Gandhian Natwar Thakkar, Dr Gopal Krishna (Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties), eminent journalists Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Monalisa Changkija, Rupam Barua, Saleem Samad, Bidhayak Das, Anup  Sarma alonh with Dr Jagadindra Raichoudhury, Dr SI Ahmed, Pramod  Kalita, Ujjal Saikia, Er Vikramjit Kakati, Er Kushal Chandra Deka, Er  Nava J. Thakuria etc for the PPFA.

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