Sewer deaths: Police yet to nab contractor

| | New Delhi

Five days have passed and there has been no headway in the probe into the tragic death of three sanitation workers in Lajpat Nagar. Three sanitation workers working for a private contractor hired by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had entered inside the sewer line to clean it and had died due to poisonous gas. Lajpat Nagar Police has failed miserably in nabbing the contractor who is the prime suspect in this case.

Initial probe has indicated that the contractor neither provided gloves nor gas masks to the sanitation worker before putting them on the job to clear the sewer line. The gross negligence on part of the contractor had resulted in the death of three sanitation workers caused by asphyxiation.

The DJB, which was asked to submit a report into the case by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is learnt to have conveyed the same in writing, saying only the arrest of the contractor may help unravel the case. In its report, the DJB has reiterated that it had not authorised any work in the south Delhi area on August 6.

Even the jetting machine, used to mechanically sweep sewers, which was parked near the spot of the incident, belonged to some other division, an official, on condition of anonymity, said. Jetting machines, operated by private contractors, are usually registered with the DJB.

“The private contractor, who had allegedly deployed these workers to clean around 20 manholes, holds the key to solve this case. The fact that he is evading police deepens our suspicion. But it is not clear as to who wanted the gutters cleaned. It may have been the market association, but nothing can be said with any authority at this point,” the official said.       



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