Another Death in Delhi-NCR Sewers: 35-Yr-Old Worker Dies in Gurugram

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Lack of safety equipment continues to claim lives; fourth fatality in the past week

Team Clarion

GURUGRAM – The tragic trend of sewer cleaning fatalities continues in Delhi-NCR, with the latest victim being 35-year-old Noor Islam. Called by contractor Muqeem Ali to clean a sewer line in Gurugram, Noor Islam’s condition deteriorated rapidly after entering the sewer, leading to his death at the hospital. This marks the fourth death in the region within a week, all involving workers who entered sewers without safety equipment.

According to a Times of India report, three housekeeping workers died on 24 June while cleaning an overflowing sewer line in an IT company’s basement in Noida. Similar to Noor Islam, these workers were not provided with proper safety gear.

Noor Islam’s wife, Mausami, has accused contractor Ali of failing to provide safety equipment to the workers. “Muqeem Ali did not give any safety gear to Noor and others,” Mausami stated. She has called for legal action against Ali. Following her complaint, the police have registered a case against Ali under Section 304A of the IPC (causing death by negligence) and Section 9 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013.

Inspector Arjun Dev of Gurugram Sadar Hospital confirmed that Noor Islam, along with two others, Anarul and Chandan Das, were exposed to toxic gases in the sewer. While Noor Islam succumbed to his injuries, Anarul and Chandan Das are currently out of danger.

Police spokesperson Sandeep Kumar mentioned that the sewer line is under the jurisdiction of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), but Noor’s employment details remain unclear. “We are trying to trace Muqeem Ali, the private contractor,” Kumar said. Both the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) and GMDA have denied employing sweepers for sewer cleaning.

This incident follows two similar deaths in Gurugram last year, where Parijat from Jhajjar and Rajkumar from Uttar Pradesh died while cleaning a septic tank in Sector 92. Both were also employed by a private agency.

Noor Islam leaves behind his wife and two daughters, aged 14 and 10. Mausami, who works as a domestic help, recalled the devastating news: “I got the call at 10.45 pm. By the time I reached the hospital, his body was wrapped in a white cloth.” Noor’s brother-in-law, Rafiq, criticised the contractor’s callousness, stating, “Muqeem Ali did not even inform the family. He left the hospital without notifying us.”

The recurring tragedies highlight the urgent need for stricter enforcement of safety regulations and accountability for those who continue to neglect safety guidelines thereby putting the life of the workers in peril.

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