Tempers ran high at Office of District Collector when hundreds of angry sanitation workers stormed the premises carrying bodies of four of their colleagues who died tragically while cleaning a septic tank of a building in Hingna area on Tuesday. Sensing trouble of unprecedented magnitude the authorities immediately sought help of police who ultimately pacified the furious sanitation workers and brought the situation under control.
The Krishnavihar Apartment building in Isasani area did not adhere to the laid down norms leading to choking of sewer line connected to the building. The choking resulted in filling up of the septic tank to the brim. Subsequently, the President of Housing Society Hemant Anand Deshmukh (40) deployed a group of sanitation workers for cleansing work. However, something went terribly wrong as four of the sanitation workers namely Balya Namdeo Masade (35), Sumit Dinesh Chauhan (20), Sunil Nekram Valmik (45) and Ricky Sunil Valmik (18) died while cleaning the septic tank most probably due to toxic gases brewing in the tank. The fifth sanitation worker Pramod Hariya Chauhan was rushed to Lata Mangeshkar Hospital where he battling for life.
Ironically, the tragedy took toll of a father-son duo with Sunil Valmik and Ricky Valmik being the unfortunate ones. Moreover, another deceased Sumit Chauhan was also a relative of Sunil Valmik. Sumit, a native of Aliganj in Uttar Pradesh, had come to Nagpur just two days ago. The Housing Society, in order to save few rupees deployed the sanitation workers available easily instead of calling NMC’s employees and their vehicle for cleaning the septic tank, charged the Regional President of Akhil Bharatiya Safai Majdoor Congress Jaisingh Kacchwa, Laxman Shukla and Vishal Shukla.
The sanitation workers who stormed the Collectorate have demanded booking of Housing Society President Hemant Deshmukh and others under Section 302 (murder) of IPC as well as jobs to kin of the deceased. DCP Shailesh Balkawde along with a posse of policemen reached the Collector Office to control the explosive situation. Later, a delegation of sanitation workers met District Collector Sachin Kurve and submitted a memorandum of demands.