Updated: May 18, 2022 6:44:26 pm
Two migrant contractual labourers working on a Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) project drowned to death after water from a drain flooded an underground pipeline.
The deceased have been identified as Devbharath (30) from Bihar and Ankit Kumar (28) from Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place in Upkar Layout in Ullal near Bangalore University.
A contractor appointed by the BWSSB was installing 11.6 diameter pipes underground as part of the Kaveri 5th stage water supply work when the incident happened.
On Tuesday evening around 7pm, Devbharath and Ankit had gone 20-feet inside an underground pipe for some welding work when a nearby drain overflowed owing to incessant rain. Both the workers died as they could not return to the surface, a police officer said.
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Sources said another labourer, Thriloki, who was overground, tried to help the victims but without success.
Jnana Bharati police said they received information of the mishap Wednesday morning and recovered the bodies, after draining out water from the pipe. “We have informed their families but do not know whether they can come to Bengaluru,” a police officer said.
BWSSB chairman N Jayaram visited the site after the accident. He blamed the contractor for forcing labourers to work in the night and for not providing them with any safety equipment. “We will file a case against them too,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (west) Sanjeev M Patil said, “Based on a complaint by Thriloki, we have registered a case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 304(a) (death due to negligence). Project Manager Shivakumar of Mega Engineering and Infrastructure Estate (the BWSSB contractor), site engineer Harish Reddy, HR manager Narasimharaju and labour supplier Manoj Yadav have been arrested. The probe is underway.”
Lokesh H, a local resident and shopkeeper, said: “The roads have been dug up for more than a year and we do not know when they come here and work. No safety equipment has been given to the workers and no signboards have been installed, which has led to many accidents here. The potholes have not been filled up and they say that roads will be asphalted once the work is completed. We don’t know when they are going to complete it.”
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