Villagers demand compensation, job to NoKs as family’s sole bread earner perishes
By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: A poor casual laborer of the Power Development Department (PDD) was electrocuted earlier this week and finally lost the battle for his life at Sk Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) on Friday.
Shabir Ahmad Dar, son of Mohammad Ismail Dar of Bogund Kulgam was electrocuted and fell from an electric pole while repairing the electric line on January 9, 2021 following the snowfall in the valley. He was admitted at SKIMS since then and succumbed to his injuries today.
Pall of gloom descended the entire area soon after the news about his death spread in his native village.
Deceased, according to the locals and official sources, was working as daily wage lineman in the department for last 20 years on a meagre amount of over Rs 6000 as his services like thousands of other casual laborers were yet to be regularised.
He is survived by the wife and son, who studies in Class 10th.
Dar, according to locals, lived with his family in a single roomed mud house.
“He was a dedicated worker who even during tough weather conditions would ensure the restoration of electricity in the village but was living in abject poverty,” a local, Abdul Rehman said.
Villagers here have demanded job and compensation for his family. “It was he who besides his daily wage job in power department would do other menial jobs to earn a living. Now his wife and son, who is in class 10, have no source of income. We appeal Lieutenant Governor led administration to take care of his family and ensure that the son of the deceased is given a job,” said another local, Abdul Rashid.
However, Electrical Employees Union (EEU) has no hope of any assistance to the family of the daily wager.
“Dozens of daily wage linemen were electrocuted to death in last several years in Jammu and Kashmir but there is no provision with the government to adjust the kin of these daily wagers or compensate them,” said General Secretary of EEU, Waseem Ahmad Jan.
The department has a total of 6102 daily wage linemen. Out of them files of 2800 were cleared by the departmental promotion committee few years ago raising the hopes of these poor employees about their regularisation.
However, Jan said, formal order with regard to their regularisation is still awaited despite the passage of three years.
“These daily wagers sacrifice their lives serving the department and the people but unfortunately they have been bearing the brunt of official apathy. Most of them hardly manage to feed their families for 6700 rupees a month. But irony is that after their death, their families are left at the mercy of Allah,” Jan told Precious Kashmir.