Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal today suspended two PWD engineers in connection with the death of a sewer cleaner at the government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) on Sunday here. Baijal said there would be zero tolerance for negligence by officials in such incidents. According to the suspension order, disciplinary proceedings against the suspended assistant engineer and junior engineer are also being contemplated. A 45-year-old sewer cleaner had died and three others were taken ill allegedly while cleaning a sewer of the Public Works Department (PWD) at the LNJP Hospital in central Delhi.
“Two PWD engineers suspended in the incident of unfortunate death of sewer worker on Sunday. Zero tolerance for negligence in such cases,” the LG tweeted. A senior official said a probe conducted by the PWD found that both the engineers should have ensured that safety code is followed by the contractor. So far in litter over a month, 10 workers have lost their lives whle cleaning sewers. Meanwhile, some trade unions jointly staged a dharna against the deaths of sewer workers while cleaning drains in the city.
Representatives of unions – Dalit Shoshan Mukti Manch, Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU), DYFI and Janwadi Mahila Samiti – handed over a memorandum to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, demanding to ban manual cleaning of sewers. After the death of workers, authorities recently decided to fully mechanise the process of sewers cleaning and made it clear any violation would attract a punishment of up to life imprisonment. Also, senior DJB officials have been directed to supervise cleaning of sewers where manual intervention is required.