The Times of India has reported that sanitation worker Rishi Pal, 50, was the 10th victim of dangerous city drains as he tried to perform his job while cleaning the sewers. This is the tenth death in the past 35 days after he, along with three coworkers, entered a toxic gasfilled PWD sewer line in central Delhi’s Lok Nayak hospital on the afternoon of Sunday without any safety equipment. In a grim repeat of three such incidents since July 16 claiming nine lives, the labourers followed each other into the clogged, 15-foot-deep line after the previous person had stopped responding. Witnesses said Pal was the first to go inside the tank and was knocked unconscious within a few seconds. Two others are battling for life after being rescued in the nick of time.
Cases under culpable homicide not amounting to murder (section 304) and attempt to commit culpable homicide (308) under IPC has been registered against the contractor, who is on the run. Teams have been formed to nab him, said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, deputy commissioner of police (central).
While ordering an PWD inquiry will take its course, the question is: whether officials in allowing the workers to enter the drain without any protective gear committed an offence ?