Wazirabad sewer death: Help pours in from across party lines
On Sunday, Kishan Lal, a 37-year-old contractual sanitation worker, suffocated to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain of the Irrigation and Flood Control department in north Delhi’s Wazirabad.Updated: Jan 24, 2019 14:38 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Three days after a sanitation worker died while cleaning a drain in Wazirabad, politicians made a beeline to meet the victim’s family. While chief minister Arvind Kejriwal assured them of a job and compensation of Rs 10 lakh, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit promised help and demanded an inquiry.
On Sunday, Kishan Lal, a 37-year-old contractual sanitation worker, suffocated to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain of the Irrigation and Flood Control department in north Delhi’s Wazirabad.
After meeting the family of the victim at Gandhi Vihar on Wednesday morning, Kejriwal said he will personally conduct a meeting of all stakeholders to ensure no worker is sent inside drains and septic tanks — not without safety gear and necessary equipment.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has, meanwhile, sent a notice to the Delhi government apprising them of the incident. It reportedly stated that workers at the site were “not provided” safety gears such as face masks, breathing apparatus and uniforms.
“The Delhi government has set a stringent norm for cleaning of drains and sewers, but many times, some contractors and engineers violate the rule and ask labourers to enter the drain or sewer without proper safety kit,” Kejriwal said, adding, “Prima facie, this also seems to be a similar case. We will take strict action against the contractor and the engineer involved in this.”
The newly appointed Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit also visited the family of Kishan Lal and demanded a detailed inquiry into the circumstances of his death. “It is sad that someone who is working hard to feed his family needs to risk his life to do so. The government has done nothing for such workers. We are here for the family and have offered them all help on behalf of the Congress party,” Dikshit said.
The BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, on the other hand, alleged that the Delhi government has not put any mechanism in place to ensure no more sewer deaths are reported.
BJP MLA and leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, said the AAP government must come out with a white paper on the frequent deaths of manual scavengers and the action taken by the government.
First Published: Jan 24, 2019 14:37 IST