Tribune News Service
Srinagar, December 7
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Hindustan Construction Corporation (HCC) Limited to consider a medical board report and accordingly pay Rs 30 lakh towards the treatment of a six-year-old boy from Bandipora who had received an electric shock from the 33,000 KV transmission line near his home.
These directions have been passed by a single Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey in a petition by the parents of the six-year-old victim Atif Irshad, who was electrocuted on November 18, 2018, while playing inside his house. The boy survived the shock but suffered lifelong and crippling disability.
As submitted in the petition, the 33,000 KV high-tension transmission line had been laid by the NHPC and the HCC from Ganderbal to Kralpora Mantrigam, where the Kishanganga power station is located. However, as argued in the petition, the high-tension power line was laid by these two companies through residential areas, which is against the norms.
It has been submitted that Atif was playing on the third storey of his house in Mantrigam when he touched the transmission line with a curtain rod, which passed just three feet away from the widow of the house. The petition blamed the two companied for gross negligence for laying the HT line very close the residential houses.
The impact of the shock was such that Atif’s both hands were burnt, besides the child suffered severe burns below his knees. As certified by the district medical board in its report, the boy is now 90 per cent permanently disabled, with his right hand amputated. Besides, his toes have also been amputated and the ongoing medical treatment of the boy is likely to cost the parents over Rs 30 lakh.
Before approaching the High Court with a petition, the parents had earlier directly approached the NHPC and HCC, which laid the transmission line through the residential area against the norms, for compensation, which was not paid. This forced the parents to approach the High Court with a petition, which has now been admitted.
“The High Court in its interim order has directed these respondent companies to consider the medical board report and accordingly pay Rs 30 lakh towards the treatment costs of the victim. Both NHPC & HCC have been directed to file compliance report in this regard within two weeks as the matter has been posted for further consideration on December 17, 2019,” petitioner counsel BA Tak said.
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