NEW DELHI: Days after FM Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Centre is focused on eradicating manual scavenging, a 24-year-old sanitation worker died while cleaning a sewer in northeast Delhi’s Shahdara, police said on Monday. The incident occurred on Sunday when Ravi, was cleaning the sewer with Sanjay, 35, near a BSES office at the CBD ground in Karkardooma.
While Ravi lost his life, Sanjay suffered from suffocation after inhaling toxic fumes, police said, adding that he was being treated at a hospital. Police said that a private contractor had engaged five workers, including Ravi and Sanjay, to clean a 15-feet deep sewer and that the work to clean it was given by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The DDA, however, denied the allegation and said an enquiry committee was constituted to investigate it.
“It is clarified that neither any contractor/ agency was given the task of cleaning the sewer line by the Delhi Development Authority nor were these persons assigned the job. Since this sewer line has not yet been handed over to Delhi Jal Board, the DDA has decided to provide financial assistance to the family of the deceased and injured in the incident,” they added.
A senior police officer said that following a PCR call at 1 pm about the two men stuck inside a sewer, a team was rushed to the spot immediately. The was taken out by using ropes, he said, adding that they were rushed to a nearby hospital. Ravi was declared brought dead by doctors while Sanjay’s condition was critical. A complaint was lodged against the private contractor at Anand Vihar police station on the statement of a labourer. The contractor is absconding and an investigation has been initiated into the matter, the officer said.