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Three die in underground drainage :investigation begins :auto service hit

In the heart of Calicut city,three people lost their lives when they trapped into a deep narrow manhole.

The incident occured at Thali ,opposite to Jaya Auditorium on Thursday.

The deceased are two labourers from Andhra Pradesh and a Kozhikode auto driver .

The labourers were clearing the clogged underground drainage.They fell unconscious after inhaling poisonous gas in the drainage.

When they were struggling for their lives,an auto driver Noushad went inside to save them.However, Noushad also died by inhaling the toxic gas.

Auto drivers in the city stopped their service from 4 pm to 7 pm in protest against the unsafe handling of drainage work by the corporation authorities.

Kasaba police, who are dealing the case have said to the CNM that a Chennai based company Sree Ram EPC Ltd is the contractor of this work under the guidance of Calicut Corporation.

A case of unnatural death has been registered.

When contacted Kozhikode corporation Mayor V.K.C.Mammad Koya said to the CNM over phone that the work is being done for  the Corporation and the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP)

KSUDP is a body under the state government.

‘The Kerala Water Authorities Sewage Division is also associated with the project-said the Mayor.

“The contractor has the sole responsibility for providing adequate safety measures to the labourers. The state government should take necessary steps to ensure safety of the project,which comes under the department of urban development ministry.

He clarified that a committee was in charge of awarding contract to the contractor. However,the work of this company is lagging behind since it start in 2011.

“I have already discussed  and informed my concern regarding the incident to the district collector and the police chief.Appropriate legal actions should be taken against those who have failed to give  safe working environment.”-he said.

Mayor also shared his concern that migrant labourers have not been in an organized level and they have been widely exploited by contractors.

There was no intimation of this work a prior intimation of the work. The corporation will look into the matter of helping the family of the  city auto driver along with the labourers .-he said.

The  committee  convened by the state government would discuss the further issues on December 9 scheduled in Thiruvananthapuram. Mayor is one of the members of this committee which runs the project.

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