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Bengaluru’s manhole horror: Contractor Ramky under BWSSB scanner

This is not the first brush with controversy for the Ramky Infrastructure Limited which has several contracts with government and civic agencies.

Published: 08th March 2017 09:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2017 12:10 AM   |  A+A-

Officials near the manhole in which three manual scavengers perished on Kaggadasapura Main Road on Tuesday morning.

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Following the deaths of three manual scavengers, Hyderabad-based Ramky Infrastructure Ltd, a firm contracted by Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewrage Board (BWSSB), is under the scanner again.

In 2012, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board had directed Bengaluru’s municipality Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Ramky Infrastructure to stop dumping waste at the Mavallipura facility on the outskirts of the city after villagers opposed dumping of waste in their back yard.

A senior BBMP official said they planned to terminate the tender for waste management then, but could not do so as Ramky had pledged the land given to it on lease to scientifically dispose of waste.

Later, Mavallipura residents went to court which directed that infrastructure should be set up at the landfill to dispose of waste scientifically and should not be dumped. "As per the directive, a 300-ton capacity plant was constructed and we are sending waste to be turned into compost. Two months ago, we issued them a termination notice, but they went to court,'' said BBMP official.

BWSSB had awarded five out of 24 packages for maintenance of underground lines to Ramky Infrastructure Ltd. "After the (manhole death) incident, Ramky is under obviously under the scanner. It's a matter of the lives of three people. An internal inquiry is going on. We do not want such incidents to happen at any cost,'' said a BWSSB official.

Ramky officials were not available for comment nearly 48 hours after the tragedy.

Apart from handling urban waste, the Ramky group is also into the real estate business. They are into developing layouts and construction of apartments. In Karnataka, the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL) had also entrusted work to Ramky for setting up of power transmission lines some time back.

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