Other workers in the estate have blamed the management and electricity board for Chithrammal’s death, and staged a protest seeking action against concerned officials.

Labourers in a tea estateRepresentative image/PTI
news Death Monday, November 21, 2022 - 15:30

In a tragic accident, a woman died in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district on Monday, November 21, after stepping on a downed power line in a private tea estate. The woman, identified as Chithrammal (45), was a resident of Devarshola in Gudalur and was working in a nearby private tea estate. Per usual, she was working at the estate when she unknowingly stepped on a power line that had fallen on the ground. Chithrammal was electrocuted when she stepped on it and died on the spot.

Workers in the tea estate have boycotted work in support of Chithrammal’s family. They staged a protest against the management of the tea estate and electricity officials for not maintaining the power lines properly. They have also stated that the power lines were installed many years ago and were not maintained properly, which caused Chithrammal’s death. Reports say that the deceased worker’s family have refused to receive her body until action is taken against the electricity officials and the management of the estate.

In August 2022, another woman labourer died in a Gudalur tea estate after a large tree fell on her owing to the heavy rain in the district. The deceased labourer was identified as Sumathi (40) and was picking tea leaves when the incident happened. She died on the spot, reports said.

Wild animals have also been victims of electrocution in Gudalur. In September 2022, a 15-year-old elephant died after it came in contact with a power-line in the Bitherkad forest range in Gudalur. According to The Hindu, the Field Director of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), D Venkatesh, stated that the death was due to accidental causes. The report also mentioned that five elephants have died in a similar manner in the past few years and that this was the sixth such death.

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