Adilabad: A consumer forum in Adilabad district of Telangana has ordered the Northern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited to pay an ex gratia Rs 4 lakh each to the families of two persons who died of electric shock in two incidents.

On October 26, 2016, Thodsam Bheem Rao from Sirpur Mandal was playing at his school. All of a sudden, an 11-KV high tension wire fell on the 12-year-old boy, killing him on the spot.

In its defence, NPDCTL tried to discredit the claims of the boy's family. It said in a statement, "The allegation of the complainant that the deceased died on the spot due to high supply of power due to negligence of service of Opposite Parties (NPDCTL) are utterly false and baseless and same are created to claim heavy compensation from the Opposite Parties for the death of the deceased. There was no high power of supply."

Responding to both parties, the forum said in its judgment, “The family has lost their only son, it is seen that a reasonable award of ex gratia of Rs 4,00,000 entitled by the complainant.” The forum added, "The Opposite Parties [sic] arguments can be considered only to a certain extent and the Opposite Parties also do not dispute the death by electrocution but not due to deficiency of their services,”

Nearly three weeks before the Sirpur Mandal incident, Sirangi Thirupathi had died of electric shock on October 5, 2016. In his complaint, victim's mother Sirangi Kamala said her son was killed while repairing a TV and it was due to NPDCTL's negligence.

“My son died due to careless and negligent act of NPDCTL. High-power supply is the reason behind my son’s untimely death. They have failed to maintain proper service," alleged Sirangi Kamala. The TV mechanic is survived by his ailing mother and young wife.

NPDTCL claimed the man died due to his own negligence. "There was no negligence or carelessness from our part, and our employees are maintaining the lines and flow of supply. Hence, we are not liable to pay any compensation or even ex gratia to the complainant for the death of the deceased,” it said in a statement.

The consumer forum held that the victim lost his life due to sudden voltage fluctuation. It said the power company is liable to pay ex gratia as it is responsible for maintenance of power lines to prevent incidents like this. “The age of the deceased was 29 years and was earning ten thousand per month and had a life to live. The family has lost their son, it is seen that reasonable to award an amount of Rs 4,00,000, as entitled by the complainant,” the forum said.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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