Delhi: Two Die Of Asphyxiation While Cleaning Kitchen Waste Treatment Plant At Restaurant
On March 23, two men died while cleaning a sewage treatment of a Delhi restaurant. 42-year-old Rakesh Singh Yadav and 19-year-old Ajay Kanojia were employed in the housekeeping department of Pirates of Grill.
DCP (West) Monika Bhardwaj confirmed that the two men were not provided safety gears. Apart from Yadav and Kanojia, two other men have also been injured and have been hospitalised.
Two men die, two others hospitalised
Yadav and Kanojia reportedly died after inhaling toxic fumes while they were cleaning the plant located at the basement of the restaurant. Their bodies were pulled out by the restaurant staff and officers of Delhi Fire Services, The Indian Express reported. The restaurant is surrounded by many bars, lounges and gyms.
“A case under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) has been registered. Since this was a kitchen waste treatment plant, the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act has not been invoked,” said DCP(West) Monika Bhardwaj.
The police said that prima facie it appears that the workers died of asphyxiation of toxic gases in the plant. The restaurant’s co-founder Jasmeet Banga, two supervisors and the general manager have been questioned, but no arrests have been made yet.
Praveen, the 21-year-old son of Yadav told the media that his father in past had told that they are not given safety gear. Yadav is survived by three children and wife. Kanojia, the other worker who died, had joined work just nine months before. Among the two other men who have been hospitalised, 21-year-old Pankaj Verma is on life support and 28-year-old Raju Rai is in ICU.
The Logical Indian Take
The police say that this case cannot be tried under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers since it was a kitchen waste treatment plant. However, circumstantial evidence suggests that these men were not provided with safety gear while they were cleaning the plant. One of the deceased, Yadav’s son said that they were never provided any safety gear.
It is a shame that lives so lost could have been saved. If proven guilty, the restaurant authorities must be held accountable. It is high time that we look for alternatives for such jobs rather risking lives.