NHRC issues notice to Odisha chief secy over death of two workers in sewage tank

Bhubaneswar: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday issued a show cause notice against Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena over the death of two workers in a sewage tank in Cuttack city.

The Commission has issued the notice to the chief secretary while hearing a petition filed by human rights activist Akhand. As per the complaint, the two workers engaged in cleaning of the sewage tanks in Cuttack died of asphyxiation in April 2021.

In its report to the NHRC, the Bhubaneswar and Cuttack police commissioner said P. Shankar and Bishnu Naik lost their lives while one D. Shiva was under treatment. No prescribed protection was taken in cleaning an underground sewer network in CDA Sector-10 area on April 15, 2021.

“During the departmental inquiry, it came to the light that Pradyut Kumar Sahu, junior engineer, PHD (public health department) and Deepak Kumar Naik, director are responsible for this unfortunate incident,” the Commission said.

The NHRC further said the probe that JE Pradyut Kumar Sahu and Deepak Kumar Naik, contractor are responsible for this unfortunate incident which reflects that the incident took place due to the negligence on the part of the government employees for which the state is vicariously liable as the human rights of the two deceased persons and one person undergoing treatment have been violated.

It has asked the chief secretary as to why the compensation of Rs 10 lakh not be recommended to be paid to the next of kin of the deceased and to specify whether any compensation has been paid to the injured person for the negligence on the part of the government employees and nature of injury sustained by the injured.

The chief secretary was directed to reply to the show cause notice in a period of four weeks.


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