Sewer cleaners: Officials to pay from salary in case of accidents

If a worker cleans manholes and sewers without the requisite safety gear and meets with an accident,the official who engaged him will pay compensation from his salary,PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said.

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | New Delhi | Published:August 9, 2012 2:03 am

If a worker cleans manholes and sewers without the requisite safety gear and meets with an accident,the official who engaged him will pay compensation from his salary,PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said.

This is one of the suggestions from a government-appointed committee to lay down guidelines for cleaning of sewers. “The committee’s report includes a clause to ensure that in case of an accident caused by an official’s dereliction of duty,the compensation will be paid from his salary,” Chauhan said.

The reports states that workers should be provided boots,breathing apparatus,portable lights,safety belts,bump helmets,gloves and first aid kits. As a precautionary measure,sewer lines should be tested for hazardous gases before allowing workers to move down the manholes,it says.

Moreover,medical examination of the workers should be conducted every now and then.

The report says that if a worker,including contract labourers,dies in accidents while cleaning sewers,an immediate ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh will be paid and the amount will be recovered from the contractor concerned.

The three-member committee was formed to look into ways for implementing a ban on manual cleaning of sewers in Delhi.

Government agencies denied that precautions were not taken. “The city’s has storm-water drains which are not as deep as sewers. Still we ensure that all safety measures are taken,” a senior PWD official said.

The Delhi Jal Board,responsible for sewage treatment,has proposed training to the workers regarding use of safety equipment.

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