Delhi government asked to compensate kin of drowned worker

Friday, February 11, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi government has been asked to compensate the kin of a worker who drowned in a pit, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said Friday. The worker was digging near a sewer pipeline which burst and flooded the pit.

According to the commission’s statement, the Delhi Jal Board said that the contractor of the private firm which engaged the labourer for the job has paid Rs.135,000 as compensation to the father of the deceased. It also said that action is being taken against the construction firm.

“However, the commission observed that the Delhi Jal Board cannot escape its liability to compensate the next of kin of the deceased under the garb of his employment and payment of compensation by the contractor,” the statement said.

The commission took cognisance of the matter after an NGO brought to its notice a media report on the incident Oct 27, 2009.

“The commission observed that the inquiry report submitted by the Delhi Jal Board clearly says that it appears that neither the firm nor the field staff applied engineering wisdom while executing the work at the site. The lapse on the part of the firm and the officers of the division stands established in the unfortunate accident where a human life was lost,” the statement said.

“NHRC has, therefore, asked the chief secretary of the Delhi government to submit a compliance report along with proof of payment of the compensation within six weeks time,” it added.

The incident happened in Nawada of south-west district of Delhi in October 2009, where digging was on to lay a DJB pipeline. During the digging, the sewer line passing nearby burst, flooding the pit in which three labourers were working. While two of them were rescued, the third drowned.

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