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Two manhole deaths in Shivamogga district

Two workers, one a minor, died after they entered a manhole for cleaning and repairing it at New Mandli locality in the city on Monday. They were working with a Hyderabad-based firm contracted by the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Sewage Board (KUWSSB) to execute work related to underground drainage (UGD) in the city.

The police named the deceased as Anjanappa, 37, and Venkatesh, 17, residents of Bilichodu village in Davangere district. A preliminary investigation has revealed that the workers were not provided with safety gear. The police said as both of them belong to a Scheduled Caste community, as per existing rules, the Department of Social Welfare will soon lodge a complaint against the contractor, after which cases would be booked.

The KUWSSB had recently undertaken work of linking the domestic sewage connections in the locality with the newly laid UGD network. The contractor had hired 30 workers from Bilichodu, Benchikatte, and Hannehal villages in Davangere district for the KUWSSB work.

Fire and Emergency Services personnel retrieved the bodies from the manhole and sent them for post-mortem to the government’s McGann Hospital attached to the Shivamogga Institute of Medical Sciences.

Abhinav Khare, Superintendent of Police, told
The Hindu
that sewage had accumulated in the pit and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained.

Protest

Meanwhile, relatives of the victims and workers staged a protest, alleging that the deaths were caused due to negligence of KUWSSB officials and the contractor.

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