BENGALURU: The urgency to get a clogged, stinking drain inside a hotel cleaned at cheap rates, snuffed out the lives of two young workers. They were forced to get into the manhole to unclog the drain filled with kitchen and toilet waste. The two men, Ramu (25) and Ravi (28), contractual sweepers and nowhere close to being experts at cleaning drains, died of asphyxiation on entering the manhole on Tuesday evening.
This is a grim reminder of three similar deaths on January 7 when Narayana Swamy (35), Mahadeva Gowda (42) and Srinivas (52) died after they entered a manhole inside the premises of ND Sepal Apartments at Somasundara Palya in HSR Layout.
It is alleged that Ayush Gupta, the owner of Hotel Yumlok on 60-feet Road in AECS Layout of Doddanakundi near Whitefield, forced the two men to get into the manhole to clean the drain.
A senior police officer said, “Both labourers got into the drain to clean it on the hotel manager’s insistence. Initially, Ramu got down with the help of a rope to check the septic tank, while Ravi stood nearby. A few minutes later as there was no response from Ramu, Ravi got down to check on him. When Ravi too failed to respond to calls, the building supervisor called fire and emergency services, who rushed to the spot and lifted them. However, the duo died due to asphyxiation.”
He said: “They were rushed to Vydehi Hospital, where they were declared brought dead. HAL police arrested hotel owner Ayush Gupta and supervisor Venkatesh for their negligence.” Ramu and Ravi were from Raichur and were living in sheds in Kundanahalli with their families.
BBMP to shut hotel
Mayor Sampath Raj said, “I have asked the authorities to shut the hotel and lodge a criminal case against the owner. We have instructed many times that people should not be sent to manually clean tanks. .” He said BBMP will give compensation to the families.