Death
Dheena was walking on the street when he stepped on a electricity board wire which had not been isolated and buried properly by TNEB personnel.
Picture courtesy: Puthiya Thalamurai TV

Less than 4 days after an illegal hoarding turned death trap for a 23-year-old Chennai techie, another life has been lost in the city due to sheer negligence. On Sunday night, Dheena Senthil, a 14-year-old boy was electrocuted to death after coming in contact with an exposed live wire on the street.

The incident happened at around 10 pm in Dhanam Nagar, near the old post office in Chennai’s Mugalivakkam neighbourhood.

Dheena, a resident of the neighbourhood, was walking on the street when he stepped on the electricity board wire which had not been isolated and buried properly by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) personnel.

Although a few people saw Dheena get electrocuted, they could not rescue him as he died instantly.

According to reports, the road had been dug up by the electricity board to lay wires for street lights and drainage pipes in the locality. However, the works had not been completed and the workers had temporarily covered the wires with mud, instead of isolating and burying them properly.

With rains over the last few days, the mud on top was dislodged, exposing the live wire underneath killing Dheena when he came in contact with it.

Following the boy’s death, several people pointed out the negligence by the Chennai Corporation and the TNEB personnel which led to the tragic incident.

Local channels reported that aggrieved residents staged a protest and halted traffic following the boy’s death on Sunday night and that tensions dissolved only after police officers arrived and promised to take action against the erring TNEB officials.

However, officers of the T4 Mangadu police station who are charged with investigating the case deny that protests had occurred in the neighbourhood.

“A few people had witnessed the boy’s death and had been standing there. However, there were no agitations or protests when we reached there,” an officer from the police station told TNM.

Dheena was a class 9 student of the government higher secondary school in KK Nagar. He is survived by his father Senthil and mother Vanitha. Following his death, Senthil filed a complaint at the Mangadu police station where officers have registered a case under section 304A (death due to negligence) against TNEB personnel.

This the second life lost due to negligence by government bodies in the city within the span of a week. On Thursday, Subhasri, a 23-year-old Chennai techie, passed away after being run over by a tanker lorry on the Thuraipakkam-Pallavaram 200 metre radial stretch. Subhasri, who was riding her two-wheeler, fell on the road after a loose illegal hoarding on the main road collapsed on her. 

The Madras High Court has now ordered disciplinary action against police officers and corporation officials for failing to remove the unauthorised hoardings. The court has ordered an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to be given to Subhasri’s family, allowing the government to recover the amount from the salaries of the errant officials.