Compensation of Rs 50,000 may be awarded to the family of Marriamma Naidu (60), who died after falling into an open trench at Wadala on January 5.
The Bombay high court also issued notices to two contractors — Vasant Jain and Subramaniam Thevar — who had dug the trench to repair a storm water drain. There were no barricades around the trench.
There have been a series of such incidents over the last two years, all highlighted by Hindustan Times.
A division bench of justice Ranjana Desai and justice Rajesh Ketkar suggested that compensation be awarded. This was welcomed by a representative of the contractors.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) advocate Suresh Pakale said their officer would ask the contractors to deposit a demand draft of Rs 50,000 with the court’s registrar-general.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Khar resident Indur Chhugani seeking criminal action against BMC officers and contractors who left such trenches open and endangered lives.
The court said the BMC should cover trenches and manholes immediately after work on them ends.
The court has asked Chhugani’s lawyer, VP Patil, to trace Naidu’s legal heirs to ensure that the compensation reaches the right person.
The state government had earlier informed the court that it has charged engineers with negligence.
Earlier, a progress report was submitted by the senior police inspector of Wadala that named deputy engineers Satish Mehta and Sandip Kamble and junior engineer Vijay Kasture responsible for the accident. These officers were in charge of the site.
The PIL said that trenches have been dug across the city for laying water pipelines, for sewerage work, etc. However, the petition said, the BMC does not effectively supervise these works.
The PIL said that sometimes action is taken against the contractors, but the BMC engineers are let off.