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NHRC notice to Noida Development Authority over death of two workers while cleaning sewage
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo-motu cognizance of media reports that two young labourers, aged 21 and 23, who died while they were working at `Oxidation Tank' of a Sewage Treatment Plant in Sector-54 of Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Reportedly, the workers were not wearing basic safety equipment.

The Commission has issued notices to the Chairman, NOIDA Development Authority, District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.

The authorities are expected to submit their response specifically mentioning about the steps taken for relief and rehabilitation to the next of kin of the deceased persons and action taken against the officials/officers found guilty of negligence causing death of two poor labourers.

The Commission has been emphasizing upon strict compliance of the relevant guidelines and proper arrangements of the safety and security of the workers by their employers. In a case No 1069/30/2000-2001, the Commission had finalized guidelines for maintenance and cleaning of sewage systems, while disposing of the case of death of two municipal safai karamcharis in Delhi.

As per report, on the April 14, 2017 one of the labourer was stepping down in the sewer water through a ladder when he fell down. Another worker also fell down when he tried to help him out. Their fellow workers tried their best to bring them out. One of them was taken out and was rushed to the District Hospital, where he was declared "brought dead". The body of the other deceased worker was located later, with great difficulty. The deceased were identified as Petwa and Mukund.

The media reports, carried on the April 15, 2017, were brought to the knowledge of the Commission by its Special Rapporteur, Mr Sunil Krishna. Reportedly, the Deputy CEO of the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (NOIDA) has ordered an inquiry into the matter along with announcement of Rs 10 Lakhs as relief to the NOK of the deceased labourers, to be paid by the contractor. But there is no mention of a case having been registered by police in the matter.

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