Delhi sewer deaths: AAP govt orders probe after 5 labourers die of inhaling toxic gases; supervisor arrested

The Delhi government on Monday announced Rs 10 lakh each for the five labourers who died following inhalation of toxic gas while cleaning a sewer tank in the national capital and has ordered a probe seeking a report in three days.

 Delhi sewer deaths: AAP govt orders probe after 5 labourers die of inhaling toxic gases; supervisor arrested

Representational image. AFP

A statement from Delhi's Labour Ministry said: "The labour minister wants a fact-finding inquiry conducted so as to decide the further course of action against the defaulting agencies/ firms." Labour Minister Gopal Rai in a tweet announced the compensation. "The Arvind Kejriwal government will provide Rs 10 lakh each to the families of labourers who passed away in the incident," Rai said.

Around 3 pm on Sunday, the staff of DLF Green Apartments in west Delhi's Moti Nagar informed the police that five labourers were trapped in a sewerage, Deputy Commissioner of Police Monika Bhardwaj said.

They were pulled out and taken to the hospital where Sarfaraz, Pankaj, Raja and Umesh were declared dead. Vishal, who was admitted to the RML Hospital in a critical condition, died during treatment, the officer said.

Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan has called the incident "shameful and inhuman". "The LJP has been demanding for years an immediate ban on manual cleaning of sewer drains. For this, a law should be made immediately to provide for strict action and the guilty should be punished with imprisonment of at least 10 years," he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has arrested a 32-year-old supervisor for alleged negligence. Ajay Chaudhary, an engineer working with JLL company — tasked with the maintenance of the sewer tank — was arrested, Deputy Commssioner of Police (West) Monika Bhardwaj said.

During the probe, it was found that the labourers who died of asphyxiation on Sunday were not provided adequate safety gear and were only given masks, police said.

A team of the National Commission for Scheduled Caste (NCSC) led by its Chairman Ram Shankar Katheria visited the site of incident on Monday evening and asked the Delhi chief secretary and joint commissioner of police to take action against people found guilty of negligence. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a report from the Delhi chief secretary and the police commissioner.

With inputs from agencies 

Updated Date: Sep 11, 2018 07:26:08 IST