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Odisha: Burn victim’s family approaches NHRC, seeks full treatment coverage

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The family of a 17-year-old boy from Kalahandi, who had spent Rs 25 lakh for treatment of severe burn injuries sustained by him after he came in contact with a high-tension wire, has knocked the doors of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for adequate compensation from Tata Power Western Odisha Distribution Limited (TPWODL).

The family of the victim alleged though TPWODL negligence led to the mishap, the Discom paid an interim relief of only Rs 2 lakh, that too nearly six months after the incident. They appealed the NHRC to direct the discom to pay a compensation ofRs 50 lakh towards the medical expenses and future treatment of the victim, Nishant Agarwal, son of late Binod Kumar Agrawal from Rupra road in Kalahandi.

He came in contact with a 33-KV live wire on July 24, 2021 while playing with his friends on a terrace of a rented building in the locality. Nishant suffered 70 per cent burn injuries in the mishap and was admitted to Narla CHC.

He was shifted to JLN Hospital at Bhilai, Chhattisgarh the next day where he had to undergo treatment for around a month till August 26, 2021.  The total expenses at the hospital amounted to Rs 18.69 lakh, while the family members said that they have already spent approximately Rs 25 lakh for his treatment. 

The 17-year old boy who had lost his father now lives with his mother and is poor, said Nishant’s uncle Sushil Kumar Agrawal who moved the apex rights body. Agrawal said that the interim compensation of `2 lakh was given to them this month, nearly one-and-a-half months after they lodged the compliant with the NHRC.

He said the high-tension wire passes through the building at a very low height. Besides, it is a non-insulated wire which makes it even more dangerous.  

“Though residents of our village had repeatedly brought this to the notice of the SDO, Electrical, Narla, the authorities concerned did not pay any heed,” Agrawal said and alleged that the mishap took place due to the negligence and poor standard of maintenance of the non-insulated electric wire by the Electricity department. 

TPWODL officials, meanwhile, said they have given the interim compensation on compassionate grounds as per guidelines. They said any decision on the matter will be subject to final outcome of the case which is pending before the NHRC.

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