AFTER SEVERAL deaths of sewer workers due to the absence of safety gear, the civic body finally obtained safety equipment worth Rs 21.11 lakh. Those were distributed among sewer workers here on Monday.
Among the pieces of equipment were breathing apparatus, safety body harness or safety belt, hand gloves, safety goggles, safety helmet, head lamp (cap lamp), reflecting jacket, safety gumboots and gas detectors. The gas detector will be used to check the level and quantity of gases in the sewerline.
The safety equipment was handed over during a demonstration and training programme held under the supervision of skilled trainers in Sector 31. Mayor Arun Sood said that for the past several years, workers had been dying but nothing was being done for their safety. “Last time the worker died, I had directed that no sewer worker would go down the manhole until the safety gears are provided. Just today only a manhole was opened and one could not even stand the gas,” said Sood.
About 20 sets have been purchased. Immediately after the death, the civic body had floated tenders for the safety equipment. After the recent death of a worker who died while cleaning a manhole, the corporation had decided to give compensation of Rs 10 lakh to all those who died in the past.
In July this year, Jitender, a resident of Sector 25, was cleaning the sewer hole located on the Old Airport road at Hallomajra with his fellow worker Ramesh when the incident happened. Jitender died on the spot while Ramesh had to be hospitalised for a number of days.
In 2015 too, three sewermen had died. The MC had given a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to their families. The incident happened on May 30 last year in Industrial Area, Phase II. In the last five years, as many as six sewermen have died while cleaning the sewer lines.