PDD debacles

Published at September 03, 2018 01:30 AM 0Comment(s)2076views


PDD debacles

When the 38-year-old PDD employee Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat died of electrocution last year, it caused such a furore in the city that the top officials were forced to explain the mishap and call the inquiry into the incident. It was so because the picture of the PDD official whose body could be seen hanging from live wires was too grisly in its details. While the Chief Engineer back then assured that action will be taken against the erring officials, the department did little to resolve the safety concerns of the workers, the linemen and hired labourers in particular. Other incidents involving people like Abdul Salam Bhat, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, Fareed Ahmad Khan didn’t receive that much attention. On Saturday, Mohammad Khalil Itoo, a PDD employee got electrocuted and died while as another employee, Ghulam Mohammad Misger of Dialgam got injured and is undergoing treatment in a hospital. The locals in the recent incident blame the department and hold its negligent officials as responsible for the mishap. Again, the Superintendent Engineer has come to the rescue of the department by suspending a junior engineer and an inspector. But the concern remains unresolved – will the department ever pay attention to the safety concerns of the workers and provide them with the necessary safety equipment and gear. It may be that the negligence of some of the officials or workers has cost the lives, but overall it is the failure of the department to make its employees follow rules and safety protocols besides provide the necessary equipments that could minimize the impact of hazards. In one report published earlier, the number of deaths due to electrocutions in a two year period was put as above 50. PDD’s future appears grim given that the government has been considering privatization of some of the services provided by the department at present. On one hand the department has drawn flak on failing to curb the power pilferage, distribution losses and corruption in the department and on the other hand fatalities like those caused by electrocutions have further blotted its image. The government must consider the overhaul of the department and remove senior officials whose nonchalance has resulted in serious losses both in terms of revenue and in terms of precious lives. The department needs a strong administration that could shake the entire work force to act and perform and match the expectations of the people.

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