Bhayandar plant workers’ death: Blame game begins in MBMC

Bhayandar: Even though the relatives of the three workers killed at a Mira Road sewage treatment plant (STP) are yet to come to terms, the blame game has already begun in the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). While the civic administration has blamed the private agency and the consulting firm deployed by the MBMC for their negligence leading to deaths, the latter has refuted the claims stating their scope of work was limited to supervision of pipe laying and it had nothing to do with the operations at the STPs.

“The contractor is mandated to hire qualified engineers and skilled workers to operate the 8 MLD capacity treament plant, under the supervision of the consulting agency. The safety and security seems to have been compromised,” alleged Suresh Vakode, executive engineer. Meanwhile, irate residents, led by MBMC’s opposition leader- Raju Bhoir, flooded the civic chief’s office in Bhayandar, demanding closure of the plant, which according to them, was emanating poisonous gases, posing serious health issues.

“The mishap was unfortunate. Apart from preventive measures to avoid such mishaps, optimum technology will be used to stop the emanation of gases, causing unpleasant smells and ensure compliance with environme­ntal regulations,” said Bal­aji Khatgaonkar, MBMC chief.

The plant is close to our residences. It threatens our health. The authorities have also not taken any steps to mitigate the noise from blowers,” said a resident, requesting anonymity. Investigations are on to ascertain any type of negligence leading to the incident,” said Vaibhav Shingare, senior inspector.

Reportedly, the MBMC had no control over the operations at the STP. The workers—Muzaffar Mohalik (24), Rafique Mandal (50) and Mafizzul (19)—choked to dea­th at MBMC’s STP near Prem Nagar, a sprawling Mira Ro­ad residential area on Wednesday afternoon. The workers had entered the tank to fix a valve separating sludge from sewage in the underground chamber.

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