Sewage workers' death: CM gives DJB 48 hrs to submit report
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal directed the CEO of Delhi Jal Board's (DJB) to submit an interim report within 48 hours over the death of three sewage workers in Lajpat Nagar.
Kejriwal will discuss the report with the Water Department and then direct necessary actions.
The Chief Minister also asked DJB to identify the circumstances which caused the death of the three men, so that such incidents can be prevented in future.
A statement issued by the Chief Ministers' Office stated that in no way can DJB escape its responsibilities.
It also mentioned that the labourers were working in a DJB sewage and got the job from some contractor.
"The contractor was not doing the job for charity," it noted. The Chief Minister, along with the Water Minister, had visited the families of the deceased workers on Tuesday and promised Rs 10 lakh as compensation, along with a government job to one person from each family.
Kejriwal said: "There should not be any attempt to cover up the incident. Those trying to cover up will also make themselves liable for criminal action."
He stated that any manual cleaning of sewers is illegal and the deceased were not carrying any security equipments with them. "They were not even wearing a mask," he said.
Meanwhile, Kejriwal has also formed a multidepartment committee to look for solutions to manual cleaning of drains and sewers to stop manual scavenging.
The Chief Minister said nowhere else in the world do people clean drains the way it happens in India.
The committee will look for modern systems to replace the practice of manual cleaning. It will also come up with a fool-proof mechanism to verify every contract awarded and executed for cleaning drains.
According to the primary review report, complete mechanical cleaning of all drains would cost nearly Rs 3,094 crore over six years.
The committee has also suggested a complete ban on production, sale and use of polythene bags less than 50 micron as long time measure.
Meanwhile, the Water department ensured that it will make a guideline of sewage clearing which DJB should follow.
The Department will ensure appropriate action against DJB if it failed to follow the guidelines.
The Department also pointed out that manual cleaning of drains would be completely banned. The Delhi government also submitted these plans to the assembly on the discussion about the issue.