MP government orders FIR against Gujarat-based firm over death of its two staffers while measuring manhole depth

By PTI

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration Minister Bhupendra Singh has ordered registration of an FIR against officials of a Gujarat-based private construction firm after its two staffers, including a minor, died while measuring the depth of a sewage line’s manhole in Bhopal.

A primary inquiry by Bhopal civic commissioner revealed the incident took place on Monday due to lack of safety standards by the construction company, said an official statement issued on Tuesday evening.

Singh also ordered an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of both the deceased and to impose a penalty on the company, said an official statement issued on Tuesday evening.

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

The statement said it was found the incident took place due to lack of safety standards by the construction company.

The firm did not provide necessary safety gear required for sewage-related works to its staffers, resulting in the incident, it said.

The company also committed a criminal act as one of the deceased worker was a minor, the statement said.

The victims, Dipak Kumar Singh (28), an engineer hailing from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, and his assistant Bharat Singh (22), of MP’s Jhabua district, had got down into the manhole to measure its depth, police earlier said.

The deceased were workers of the Gujarat-based Ankita Construction company, which had bagged a contract in 2018 from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation for laying a sewage line, an official said.

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

A police team rushed to the spot and brought out Dipak Singh from a depth of about 20-feet.

After spotting a pair of slippers lying nearby, the police further searched the manhole and found Bharat Singh dead inside.