Sanitation workers’ death: NHRC takes cognisance of complaint in Cuttack
Acting on a complaint filed by Akhand, a Pipili-based human rights activist, the commission had sought report from police commissioner of Bhubaneswar - Cuttack.
CUTTACK: The death of two workers due to asphyxiation while cleaning sewage tanks in CDA sector-10 in Cuttack two years back, is back in focus with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) taking cognisance of a complaint seeking Rs 10 lakh compensation for the families of each deceased on Tuesday.
Acting on a complaint filed by Akhand, a Pipili-based human rights activist, the commission had sought report from police commissioner of Bhubaneswar - Cuttack. A report was submitted in pursuance to the order on January 7, 2023. The police commissioner’s report stated that two persons - P Shankar and Bishnu Naik had lost their lives while one D Shiva was injured while cleaning a broad manhole of underground sewer network without any prescribed protection.
Taking note of it, the NHRC issued a show cause notice to the chief secretary of Odisha seeking reply within four weeks as to why the commission should not recommend payment of compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased.
“From the perusal of the report, it transpires that it is quite apparent that during the departmental enquiry, it was found that Pradyut Kumar Sahu, junior engineer (PHD) and Deepak Kumar Naik (contractor) are responsible for this unfortunate incident which reflects that the incident took place due to the negligence on the part of the government employees for which the state is vicariously liable as the human rights of the two deceased persons and one person undergoing treatment have been violated”, the NHRC said in the notice.
The commission also sought information on whether any compensation has been paid to the injured person for the negligence on the part of the government employees and the nature of injuries sustained.