The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that 55 school children have suffered burn injuries as a high-tension wire fell on the government primary school in Utraula Tehsil of the district Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh on 15th July, 2019.
Reportedly, there were at least 100 children in the school when the incident happened.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights. Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Chairman, Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited, Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.
The Commission would like to know about the status of the medical treatment being provided to the injured young students along with steps taken by the authorities to prevent such incidents in future. The Commission also expects the state government to inform about the status of the relief provided to the victim students.
The Commission has further observed that the reported incident portrays irresponsible and negligent attitude of the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam authorities. Necessary steps should have been taken by the school authorities if the 11000 kv high tension electric cable was passing above the school building. The authorities concerned cannot escape their liability to ensure proper safety of the students in the school. A large number of people have sustained grievous injuries and have lost life due to electrocution, weak and old electric wires, dilapidated electric poles and faulty transformers etc in Uttar Pradesh.
The Commission has taken cognizance of many such incidents and has recommended ex-gratia relief to the victims . It has been insisting the state government and the authorities concerned to take effective steps for proper maintenance of the power supply infrastructure so that precious human lives are not lost in fatal accidents.
According to the media reports, carried today on 16.07.2019, the District Magistrate, Balrampur has terminated the services of a contractual lineman and has also placed a skilled coolie under suspension. It is also stated that a departmental inquiry has been proposed against the Junior Engineer concerned. The news reports further reveals that the Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh has asked the Project Director of the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited to ascertain the cause of the accident and submit a report within 24 hours.