Manhole deaths: Vigilance, SDM to unearth nexus, fix responsibility for tragedy | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Manhole deaths: Vigilance, SDM to unearth nexus, fix responsibility for tragedy

chandigarh Updated: Jun 02, 2015 10:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Vijay Kumar Dev UT administrator

Taking a serious note of the Saturday incident in which three workers died after inhaling poisonous gases inside a manhole, the UT administration has ordered two inquiries, including a vigilance probe, into the incident.

In the first inquiry, the nexus between the MC employees and the contractors would be investigated, while the second probe would fix the responsibility for the tragedy.

The inquiries were ordered by the adviser to UT administrator Vijay Kumar Dev.

The UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal, while confirming the development, said a vigilance probe had been marked to look into the allotment of contract for sewer-cleaning to the spouse of a MC employee.

The tender of cleaning the sewer was allotted to Jaspal Kaur, wife of Sukhraj, a corporation employee.

The inquiry will look into the awarding of this contract and will check how many more contracts have been allotted to firms owned by the corporation employees.

SDM Kashish Mittal will conduct an inquiry to find out the reasons behind the incident which led to the death of three workers.

He will fix the responsibility for lapses, if any, on part of the municipal corporation staff.

He will also make suggestions to avoid such tragedies in future.

During the day, senior UT functionaries also held a meeting with the corporation officials to check what kind of safety equipment the corporation has for its workers.

The home secretary was told by the MC chief engineer that the civic body had oxygen masks.

The home secretary also asked the MC authorities to ensure that contractors undertook cleaning work after getting a nod from the MC and in latter’s supervision.

Meanwhile, the mayor Poonam Sharma also held a meeting with the officers of the public health department and demanded details of the contractors and their firms to find out if there was a nexus.

The mayor is also getting an agenda prepared for purchasing 10 oxygen masks for the workers and some machines for cleaning the sewers.

Talking to Hindustan Times, the mayor said, “There are around 77 posts of sewermen lying vacant.

In fact, we should have permanent trained staff for the work so that there is no need to rope in private contractors.”
She also visited the houses of the victims and gave them ration.

The corporation is also considering the suspension of Sukhraj, the employee whose wife Jaspal Kaur was allotted the tender.