August 27, 2021 12:44:17 am
Three workers who entered a sewage manhole died after inhaling toxic gases in Bopal area of Ahmedabad rural on Thursday with police saying that they were not given any safety gear by their contractor.
Police have detained the supervisor/ sub-contractor Himmat Patel and booked a case against him and the main contractor Sanket Patel under Indian Penal Code section 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
According to police, the incident occurred opposite Delhi Public School in Bopal where work to lay sewage pipeline was going on by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). The AUDA had given the contract to Yogi Construction Company whose main contractor Sanket Patel had hired a sub-contractor/supervisor Himmat Patel for the purpose. It was the sub-contractor/supervisor who hired three workers for fitting and cleaning of the sewage pipeline.
Police said around noon, one of the deceased, Bharat Meda, entered the manhole without any safety gear, after complaints of blockage in the pipeline. Within a few minutes, Bharat collapsed inside the manhole. To save Bharat, two other workers — Sandeep and Raju — entered the manhole and collapsed due to noxious gases.
Teams of fire safety department rushed to the spot and started rescue work. “We retrieved the three bodies after a six-hour operation, around 7 pm. The bodies were sent to the Civil Hospital in Sola for postmortem. We had to dig 30 feet deep using JCB machines to make an alternate passage and recover the bodies,” said a senior official of Ahmedabad Fire Safety Department.
The deceased have been identified as Bharat Meda (53), Sandeep Meda (33) and Raju Meda (25), all natives of Vandariya taluka in Dahod and residents of Sanand in Ahmedabad rural.
Speaking to The Indian Express, KT Kamaria, deputy superintendent of police, Ahmed-abad rural, said, “Police have detained the supervisor Himmat Patel for his criminal negligence and an FIR is being filed against both main contractor and supervisor. The postmortem report of the workers is awaited.”
Following the incident, Dalit Rights activist Kantilal Parmar wrote to the New Delhi-based National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), seeking their intervention in the case.
“Today morning, three youth from marginalised scheduled tribe were asked to enter a gutter line without any safety gear in clear violation of the Supreme Court and Gujarat High Court guidelines as well as human rights, resulting in their death,” said Parmar in his complaint to the NHRC.
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