Luck saved him on Thursday, but not the next day; KSEB engineer gives life for service
Punnayurkulam (Thrissur): Baiju, KSEB assistant engineer of Viyyur died on Friday, while engaged in duty to restore power at a transmission tower that was damaged in the flood waters.
The accident that took Baiju’s life happened on Friday around 12.30 pm at Chullikkaran area near Chammannur in Thrissur district. A transmission tower installed amidst a paddy field here had collapsed in the extreme rains the other day resulting in inundating the area. A temporary tower was necessary to restore the electricity supply. A group of 30 people including Baiju and contract workers of KSEB from Alappuzha have been working here to install a temporary transmission tower.
The new tower was being installed at the centre of a water-logged paddy field which was nearly 1 km away from the land.
On Thursday, a day before his death, Baiju had spoken to the reporter of Mathrubhumi after returning from work on a boat. “I travelled on the boat holding my life in hands. It was too dangerous. Since we had no other means, two of us went to the work spot on a fibre boat that can carry one person. Boat had swayed several times on the way. Only because of luck, we reached the spot safely”, said Baiju.
However, the next day he died while on the same course he took to work. The fibre boat was brought by contract workers from Alappuzha. Majority of works were done using this boat. Baiju also had to use this boat for this commute to the transmission tower that was under construction.
The KSEB workers had requested the panchayat officials for a small boat that could assure them more safety. As it didn’t make any positive change, they relied mostly on this fibre boat for each and everything.
Moreover, there was pressure from authorities to complete the work as fast as possible. The paddy field where work was undertaken had a depth of more than 10 feet. Over 30 staff worked here without any safety measures.
On the day of accident, two locals, Kotha and Ashruf reached with the fibre boat to the land to take Baiju to the work spot. At a 400 metre distance from the land, the boat they travelled overturned. After it fell into the water, Ashruf swam to the land. But, Baiju drowned. Kotha managed to stay on the boat tried to save Baiju but in vain.