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Safai karamcharis body directs DM to pay Rs 10 Lakh ex-gratia to kin of Delhi sewer victims

The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis Wednesday directed the district magistrate (west) to give a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of each of the five people dead due to asphyxiation while cleaning a septic tank at a housing complex in Moti Nagar area in Delhi, officials said.

The incident happened on Sunday at DLF Capital Green Apartments.

The commission has sought registration of a case of death caused by negligence under provisions of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 and under sections of IPC against DLF, service managing firm JLL, and the maintenance contractor Unnati Agency.

The commission asked police to make arrests accordingly.

A team of the commission visited the spot Monday and had a discussion with the Delhi chief secretary, the district magistrate (west), DCP and other police officers, officers from Municipal Corporation (west) and Delhi Jal Board.

DLF representatives informed the visiting commission team that the JLL will take care of the families affected.

Deputy commissioner of police (west) said an FIR has been registered under section 304A at Moti Nagar police station and the process is on to identify people responsible for the deaths.

"On the basis of the discussion, the commission has noticed that the cleaning of sewage treatment plant of the DLF Capital Greens was taken up without safety equipment, supervisory team, ambulance with doctor etc, which shows a clear violation of the provision of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 and also the Supreme Court judgment dated March 27, 2014," the statement said.

This matter will be taken up with the concerned departments for solution of "non-stop sewer deaths" in Delhi and action against the agencies that violate Act, it said.

A 32-year-old supervisor, an engineer working with JLL was arrested Monday for alleged negligence into the case.

The Delhi government has ordered a probe into the matter, while the National Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the Delhi chief secretary and the police commissioner.