Case against a Gujarat company in Madhya Pradesh after 2 manhole measuring dies

Both could have died of suffocation inside the manhole, according to reports. (Representative image)


Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration Minister Bhupendra Singh ordered the registration of an FIR against officials of a private construction company based in Gujarat after the death of its two employees, including a minor, while ‘he was measuring the depth of a sewer manhole at Bhopal.

A primary investigation by the municipal commissioner of Bhopal found that the incident occurred on Monday due to lack of safety standards by the construction company, an official statement released Tuesday evening said.

Mr. Singh also ordered compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to relatives of the two and to impose a penalty on the company, according to the statement.

The minister wrote a letter to the police commissioner of Bhopal to register an FIR against officials of the company Ankita Construction, engaged in a sanitation project in the capital of the MP, he said.

The statement said it was discovered that the incident had occurred due to a lack of safety standards on the part of the construction company. The company did not provide its staff with the necessary safety equipment for the sewage-related work, which led to the incident, he said.

The two men were identified as Dipak Kumar Singh (28), an engineer from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, and laborer Bharat Singh (a miner), resident of MP district of Jhabua.

The company committed a criminal act because the deceased worker (Bharat Singh) was a minor, the government MP statement said, but he did not mention his age.

When contacted, Gandhinagar Police Station official Arun Sharma told PTI on Wednesday that they were investigating the case and checking the facts.

“After the process, the FIR will be registered,” he said.

He said Bharat Singh was around 17 years and six months old.

Earlier, after Monday’s incident, police said the age of the dead was around 22.

The dead were workers at Gujarat-based Ankita Construction, which landed a contract in 2018 with the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to lay a sewer line, an official said earlier.

They had gone down into the manhole here to measure its depth, he said.

On Monday, some people saw a man lying motionless inside an open manhole and alerted police.

A police team rushed to the scene and brought Dipak Singh out to a depth of about 20 feet. After spotting a pair of slippers nearby, police continued to search the manhole and found Bharat Singh dead inside.

Sources said the two may have died of asphyxiation inside the manhole.

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