Property Owners to Face Murder Charges if Sanitation Worker Dies While Cleaning Sewers, Says Delhi Water Minister

Delhi Jal Board now plans to make sewage cleaning a completely mechanized process following reports of workers' deaths while cleaning sewers

Sanitation workers
Indian men next to a sewage canal in New Delhi. VOA
  • Delhi Jal Board to now train sanitation workers
  • Delhi Water Minister announces that failure to intimidate authorities about hiring sanitation workers for private property will be a crime

New Delhi, August 27, 2017: A case of murder will be registered against a private property owner if a sanitation worker dies while cleaning sewers or septic tank, Delhi Water Minister Rajender Pal Gautam said on August 22, Tuesday.

He told reporters hiring sanitation workers for a private property without informing Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will also be “considered a crime”.

“If one sends a sanitation worker in a sewer without informing the DJB, it will be considered a crime and a case will be registered against the person responsible. And if the sanitation worker dies, there will be a case of culpable homicide,” Gautam said after meeting between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the DJB officials.

“The purpose of the meeting was to understand the problems. We also told officials that no one should go inside the sewer at any cost. Machines should be used. If taking machines in narrow lane is impossible, then DJB official along with safety equipment should visit the spot,” he added.

Gautam also said that the DJB will train sanitation workers and issue certificates.

“People will be informed to call certain number if they want to clean septic tank and sewerage blockage. For personal properties, workers licensed by the MCD or the DJB be used,” he said.

In the meeting officials of DJB told Kejriwal that they did not have any shortage of safety gear for the cleaning staff.

“It was decided to make the process of cleaning sewage 100 per cent mechanised as soon as possible,” said an official. (IANS)