Two days after five men died while cleaning a sewage treatment plant (STP) at Moti Nagar’s DLF Capital Greens, fear and grief has gripped their colleagues — with many quitting the job and others demanding a “safer work environment and apt compensation for those who died.”
Of the five who died, Umesh Kumar (22) worked in the housekeeping department, posted by a contractors company called Crest, while Pankaj Yadav (26), Raja Singh (20), Sarfaraz (19) and Vishal (19) were employed in the STP department by another contractors company called Unnati.
Meanwhile, the remaining four employees who worked in the STP department— Naeem, Himanshu (19), Pradeep (21) and Rehmat (22) — have quit the job and informed their superiors about it. “We were eight men, and now four are dead. I can’t go back to that company. My family insists that I find another job,” said Mohammad Naeem.
Naeem also claimed that in the one-and-a-half years that he worked there, he was “forced to enter the STP five-six times without safety gear”. “We asked our seniors for masks and safety belts but they didn’t respond,” Naeem claimed.
Nangloi-based resident Himanshu, who earns Rs 12,000 and is a machine operator at the STP, said, “I’ve been here for four months. About two months ago, the STP started stinking like a naali. We told our seniors about it, but they didn’t listen to us. We are not STP cleaners… I have told my seniors at Unnati that I am quitting this job.” The company was unreachable for a comment.
The 120-strong housekeeping department that lost Umesh meanwhile demanded “compensation for the dead, and safety gear in place.” Police have so far have arrested the plant in-charge, who was employed by a private firm, JLL. Police said JLL handed out contracts for maintenance of the residential complex to two firms — Unnati and Crest. DLF had earlier said “services at the said complex are managed by JLL”.