BENGALURU: Two days after three workers suffocated to death inside a Bengaluru manhole, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is yet to take any action against the contractor. BWSSB chairman Tushar Girinath told New Indian Express that the board is waiting for the internal inquiry report to act against the contractor. Interestingly, BWSSB had issued a notice to the company, warning it that its bills would not be cleared if the work is not proper. Excerpts from an interview with Tushar Girinath:
Why were the work made to clean a manhole at midnight?
We don’t know why. Some say our officials asked them to do so. An internal inquiry is being conducted and a report is expected in a day or two. If there is any lacuna from our side, action will be taken against our officials too.
Isn’t it your responsibility to ensure that contractors take safety measures?
As a principal employer of the project, we have paid compensation to the victims' families. But loss of life cannot be compensated with money. In this case, we have paid from our funds, which will later be collected from the agency.
Will BWSSB review other projects taken up by Ramky?
BWSSB is monitoring all the projects entrusted to other agencies, not just Ramky. However, we cannot stand there all the time along with the agency.
Will you terminate the agreement with the agency?
An internal inquiry is being conducted. As per the agreement, we can take action against them. We may levy a heavy penalty on them.
When was the work given to the contractor?
It is a sewage pipeline from KR Puram to Kadubeesanahalli. The work was handed over some three years ago. They claimed to have completed it, but there were defects. We told them to rectify the problems. In fact, a notice was issued to them last week. We have not paid their bills. We told them we won't pay if the work is not proper.