A pall of gloom hangs heavily over the one-room tenement where Gauri Ashok Shilimkar (11) resided. Shilimkar died due to electrocution after she accidentally touched an electric pole on Monday, while she was on her way to meet her maternal grandmother.

Shilimkar was a student of Class 6 at Nanda Deep High School in the area. The incident took place in the crowded slum area of lane number 29 of Janata Vasahat, which falls under the jurisdiction of Dattawadi police station.

According to the Dattawadi police, Shilimkar had stepped out of her house to meet her grandmother as she wanted to tell her that one of her aunts had come to their house.

Police sub-inspector Nand Kumar Kenche who is the investigating officer in the case said, “A case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) 304 has been lodged against the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) authorities for negligence in repairing the electricity pole.”

“We hardly stay at a distance of 500 metres from Gauri’s house. There was nobody in the house as the mother works as a daily wage labourer while her father works in a restaurant. Both of them were on duty. Gauri was coming to me and it had started raining. On her way she accidentally touched the pole and got electrocuted. The entire family is shattered and her mother is in a state of shock,” says Vimal Shivaji Chavan, the victim’s grandmother.

She further demanded, “Action must be taken against MSEDCL authorities for negligence which led to the death our loved one.”

She added that Gauri was a bright girl who was good at dance and playing ‘dholak’.

Ashok Shilimkar, the victim’s father, said, “Gauri’s death has struck a blow to the entire family. Had the electricity pole been repaired, perhaps her life could have been saved.”

Gangaram Kondhalkar, their neighbour, who runs an ice cream shop in the same lane, said,“ We managed to free Gauri from the electricity pole, but the strong electricity current restricted us,” said Kondhalkar.

“We had demanded that the electric pole be repaired for past six months but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears,” said Kondhalkar.

Another resident, Mahadeo Pandit, said, “The live wires are dangling from scores of electric poles in the area and the MSEDCL has not acted against the problem,” he said.

Sachin Talewar, chief engineer MSEDCL, Pune zone, said, “Whenever we receive complaints regarding faulty electricity poles, we resolve them without delay. We have given an advance compensation to the victim’s family,” he said.

Poor power supply irks residents of Bopodi

Erratic power supply since April 14 (Sunday) has inconvenienced residents of Bopodi, Bhau Patil road and Khadki. Hansa Shah (75), a resident of Bopodi, is finding it difficult to run her stationary shop without electricity.

“On Tuesday evening (April 16), we did not have power supply for six hours. It was restored late at night. How are we supposed to work or do household chores without electricity?” questioned Shah.

Another resident Anita Sonawane said that this was not the first time that there was a power outage. “We are helpless as we cannot use electric appliances like air conditioners and fans during the summer, she said.

“There is constant fluctuation in the power supply and it becomes difficult to use electrical appliances. I get messages from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) about a problem in the feeder, but I didn’t think the problem will last for so long,” said Sonawane.

The Sonawane family lives on the fourth floor of a residential apartment and with no electricity supply, it is difficult to carry our day to day chores. “If we keep the windows open to get fresh air, mosquitoes enter the house,” Sonawane added.

Talking about the issue, Nishikant Raut, spokesperson, MSEDCL, said, “There was an incoming feeder cable that was broken in the Khadki Cantonment area, thus the electricity supply was interrupted. We had restored the supply after working on it for two hours last night, but today (April 17) a cable fault was reported and we repaired it. Now, everything is back to normal and residents will not face further power cuts.”

First Published: Apr 18, 2019 14:35 IST