By Muhammad Atif Ismail

MULTAN, Jul 05 (APP):Electricity has eased our day to day life in almost all sectors. Whereas it facilitates our routine life,  similarly, it causes tragic incidents also, as substandard electricity wiring, citizen’s careless attitude,  and lack of safety culture are important causes of electrocution, in the backward region of south Punjab.
It merits a mention here that on June 29 last, District Information Officer (DIO) Jhang, Rao Shakeel (33), died of electric shock as he was adjusting pedestal fan for masons, working at his under-construction house, at Kukar Hatta village, in tehsil Kabirwala. Rao Shakeel, had started his career as article writer in Directorate General Public Relation (DGPR) in 2007. After availing promotion, he joined his duties as District Information Officer Jhang in 2018. Deputy Director DGPR Asghar Khan while talking to this scribe maintained that Rao Shakeel was a hard working officer. He had two sons.
Similarly, the very next day, June 30, another youngster namely Muhammad Asif (18) son of Muhammad Nazeer, resident of Bihari Colony Muzaffargarh was  electrocuted during shifting of a running pedestal fan at his shop.
These are not two incidents only but such mishaps occur,  almost on a daily basis in south Punjab.
Emergency Officer Rescue 1122, Dr Kaleem Ullah told APP, use of substandard cables in electricity wiring was one of the major causes  of electricity shocks in the district Multan. The incidents of electric shock increased by 50 percent especially during  the rainy season of monsoon. Dr Kaleem Ullah added that the substandard wires melt due to sizzling heat and this resulted in citizens’ direct exposure to copper.
He observed that the ratio of electric shock was more among youngsters and kids. The youngsters received electric shock due to over-confidence while kids due to negligence of elders of their families.
Rescue 1122 dealt  with 768 electric shock emergencies during the last one year. As many as 56 persons died in these reported emergencies. However, 727 persons faced burn injuries, he informed. “Our staffer namely Muhammad Bilal also died of electric shock”, Dr Kaleem recalled.
People usually receive electric shock from electric coolers, fans, broken switches, charger cables, extension cords, corroded wires, juicers, electric fodder cutting machine, loose & improper connection and mechanical instruments.
Similarly, women receive electric shock from washing machines, ovens, iron and some other electric appliances, installed at Kitchen.
Mentioning the reasons, Rescue 1122 officer Dr Kaleem stated that citizens’ attitude towards using  electric appliances was very rough. Haphazard and poor-quality wiring was another cause of concern. “Mostly, the citizens, especially women, receive electric shock when they are wet and they carelessly use electric appliances,”says Dr. Kaleem . Often, Labourers also underwent electric shocks at under-construction buildings due to their carelessness, they were usually wet and exposed to corroded and naked wires,He added.
Replying to a query about how  such mishaps could be avoided, the Emergency Officer Rescue 1122 Dr Kaleem Ullah stated that there should be good safety measures and high level of awareness among the masses to avoid such mishaps.
The citizens should renew electricity wiring once in a year, especially during summer season. Electric boards should be installed away from kids reach. Seasonal equipment should be kept off after the season was over, he said.
The citizens should avail services of certified electricians and should not save money by compromising quality wiring and equipment. Fuse should be installed in almost every electric board, suggested Dr Kaleem.
Rescue 1122 Spokesperson Abdul Jabbar informed that it was mandatory to submit  an electricity wiring certificate issued by certified electricians with Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO).  Without a certificate by a qualified electrician, Multan Electric Power Company could not issue electricity meters to  consumers, he informed. He lamented that citizens avail services of quack electricians and they did not use quality material which later on, resulted in mishaps.
Abdul Jabbar also hinted that poor wiring also increased chances of short-circuit and sometimes, it burns precious valuables. In district Multan, a total of 539 incidents of short circuit occurred during the last one year, stated Abdul Jabbar. He suggested that citizens should not compromise on electricity equipment.
Dr Kaleem Ullah advocated that electricity safety measures should be included in  the educational curriculum. Similarly, the precautionary messages should be disseminated through FM Radio as it was very much popular in rural areas, he added.
“The citizens should avoid the myth of putting electric shock victims beneath dust or sand as it damages the respiratory system and thus leads to death of the victims,”he warns. Dr Kaleem,  however suggested citizens to avail facility of training on restoration of respiration through Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) because it was beneficial in dealing with any emergency like situation. CPR was the process of putting pressure on the human chest after regular intervals for restoration of respiration. Rescue 1122 wass offering a training facility to general citizens, he concluded.