Two days after three labourers lost their lives while working in a Bhandup sewer line, corporators in the standing committee on Tuesday asked the BMC to set up an inquiry against civic officials, whom they allege are responsible for the mishap.
On Monday, the Kanjurmarg police arrested Sivanand Chavan, a supervisor who was employed by a BMC corporator to carry out the work. Chavan has been charged with causing death due to negligence. The corporation will also set up an inquiry into the case. The report is expected to be tabled before the Standing Committee in the coming weeks.
“We think the corporation is not bothered about the safety of its labourers. The workers have to do their job under difficult conditions, and they are not even supplied shoes, helmets or any other safety gear,” said Vindo Shelar, BJP corporator. Shelar added that the BMC should make use of machines for sewage cleaning instead of making labourers work under such hazardous conditions.
Citing that there had been around 12 such cases in a year, corporators demanded the civic body to come up with a policy that not only addressed rehabilitation of the families of the deceased, but also prevented the repeat of such accidents. “The corporation must blacklist contractors, who are responsible for the incident. They must also take the civic officials to task, instead of blaming the supervisor alone,” said Manoj Kotak, corporator and group leader of the BJP.
Samajwadi Party (SP) corporator Rais Shaikh said, “The corporation must appoint a sub-engineer at the spot whenever such work is undertaken. They cannot only be concerned with getting the work done. They must also ensure safety.” Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani assured the committee that the administration would take requisite steps to promote safety for its workers.