Hyderabad: The sewerage line was opened by unauthorised labourers without permission from HMWSSB. For repairing a sewerage line, 2 to 3 manholes must be opened to expel methane. Moreover approval is required from sewage board.
“As May 1 was a holiday, HMWSSB did not receive a call from that area. We don’t know who have engaged the workers. It is also unknown why they opened the line. HMWSSB is enquiring about the contractor,” said HMWSSB MD Lokesh Kumar. Minister K.T. Rama Rao instructed the HMWSSB chief to book a criminal case against the contractor.
The minister ordered the board not to carry out any manual cleaning hereafter. Assistance will be given from the CM’s fund and the HMWSSB. On Labour Day, two labourers Veera Swamy, 40, and Kotaiah, 38, who were cleaning a HMWS&SB sewer manhole at Koti died. One labourer died while clearing the block the other died while trying to save him.
A petition was filed with the State HRC seeking assistance for the families of the deceased. The petitioner said, “The SHRC had asked the HMWS&SB and GHMC not to allow manual cleaning but to use machines to clear blockages in sewer lines.
The HMWS&SB and GHMC were sent many notices. It is shocking to hear the HMWS&SB official’s statement saying that the labourers who died are not from their department. HMWS&SB has stopped recruitment and the cleaning of sewerage lines is taken up by engaging labourers through contractors.
No advanced machine is provided to the labourers who are hired on daily wages. Moreover, the HMWS&SB has said that it does not work on Sundays. As it is an essential service the department has to work on all days of the week.”
In 2011, the Lokayukta, following a petition filed against the GHMC for negligence which led to the death of a woman who fell in an open manhole, had issued notices to the GHMC to install grills in all manholes so that even if one fell he or she would not get washed away. Following this, the GHMC had allocated funds to modernise manholes. However, the grills were not installed.