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AAP’s Gautam, safai karamchari body head spar over sewer deaths

The two had a heated exchange during a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat, following the chairperson’s meeting with top officials of the Delhi government, which included Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 25, 2019 8:51:57 am
AAP’s Gautam, safai karamchari body head spar over sewer deaths Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam(File photo)

The chairperson of the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) and the Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam Tuesday had a public spat over sewer deaths in the capital.

The two had a heated exchange during a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat, following the chairperson’s meeting with top officials of the Delhi government, which included Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev.

Gautam told The Indian Express that the commission was “politicising the issues of sewer deaths”, an issue the Delhi government has been trying to tackle through a series of measures, including deployment of advanced cleaning machines.

“He could have raised the issue in the meeting with the officials. But he wanted to politicise the issue,” Gautam said. Earlier, chairperson of the commission, Manhar Valji Bhai Zala, alleged that the Delhi government had failed to extend adequate compensation to the families of those who lost their lives while cleaning sewers.

“Since March 2017, 38 sewer workers have died. When we consider data from 2003, this number stands at 64. So far, 46 families have received compensation of Rs 10 lakh each,” Zala said.

When Gautam reached the presser from a dengue event at Talkatotra, the commission members raised the issue in front of reporters. Gautam initially tried to respond, but later decided to walk out.

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