PTI Photo by Arun Sharma
PTI Photo by Arun Sharma

New Delhi: The BJP on Monday held Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the death of a sanitation worker in a drain saying that the government was playing with their lives as they are not given protective gear. “This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. Due to the negligence of the government, sanitation staff goes for cleaning sewers and dies there after inhaling toxic fumes. They are never saved even after rescue operations,” Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari told reporters here. His remarks come a day after a sanitation worker choked to death after he got trapped inside an underground drain while cleaning it in north Delhi’s Jahroda area.

The work of cleaning the drain was being carried out by the Delhi government’s flood control department. “Sanitation workers are our helpers and Kejriwal government is playing with their lives,” he said. Highlighting the deaths of sanitation workers in Delhi in the past few years, the BJP MP from the North East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency said that in September 2018, five sanitation workers died while in August 2017, 10 died inside sewers. “Kejriwal is responsible for the deaths of sanitation workers who die while cleaning sewers and the investigating agencies should take action against him,” he said.

Attacking Kejriwal, Tiwari said, “During the last three to four years, more than 60 workers have died.” He also accused Kejriwal of not fulfilling his promise of providing safety equipment to sewer workers and mechanical sweeping. A senior Delhi Police official said that it has registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code over the death of the sanitation worker. The sanitation worker has been identified as Kishan, 37, a resident of north Delhi’s Wazirabad area.

According to police, he had gone to clean the drain but got trapped in the silt and garbage in the drain. His body was taken out from the drain by a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) late on Sunday night.

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