Following a strident demand, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has upped the ex gratia payment for fatal electrical accidents from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Conditions apply, though.
The enhanced ex gratia payment will be payable only in cases where the death was caused by defects or faults in the KSEB electrical installations or lack of maintenance. In the case of non-fatal accidents, a maximum ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh will be paid proportionate to the percentage of disability sustained by the victim, the KSEB said. Fatal or non-fatal accidents caused due to negligence or ignorance on the part of the public will not be eligible for the increased amount, a KSEB order dated January 13 read. The enhanced ex gratia will come into force with retrospective effect from June 1, 2014. Legal heirs will be eligible for the enhanced sum if the death has been caused by any of the following: snapped conductor or service wire, sagging power lines, breakage of poles, shock from a transformer which doesn't have adequate protection such as a fencing and electricity leakage from earth wire, guy wire or stay wire.
''The above reasons result as after-effects of natural calamities such as heavy rains during the monsoon season, thunder, lightning etc,'' the KSEB order said.
The following reasons will not make fatal or non-fatal accidents eligible for the enhanced payment: accidental contact with power lines while cutting tree branches, climbing trees or plucking fruits; while handling ladders or iron pipes, erecting arches, loading vehicles or fixing banners or posters; riding elephants, or working with cable TV lines drawn on electric posts. The ex gratia for such mishaps will be retained at Rs 1 lakh.
The KSEB has also upped compensation for death of cattle caused by electrical mishaps. For cows, buffalo, ox and bull, the compensation has been increased from Rs 10,000 to a maximum of Rs 25,000.
For goats, it has been fixed at a maximum of Rs 20,000. The KSEB had decided to enhance the compensation after many legal heirs of the victims moved court.
The matter had also come up in the Assembly and the Power Minister had announced a revision.
As many as 114 members of the public have died or were injured in mishaps caused by snapped KSEB power lines in the past four years. Forty-six KSEB staff and 49 contract workers were killed in electrical mishaps during this period.
Source- Indian Express