Worker killed in wall collapse at Tagore Circle underpass

Worker killed in wall collapse at Tagore Circle underpass

  Tragic: Workers and medical assistants lifting the body of construction labourer Sathanu (26) at Rabindranath Tagore Circle Underpass in Basavangudi on Tuesday. Dh PhotoSathanu (26), a labourer from Jharkhand was buried alive as a wall of the Basavanagudi post office collapsed.

According to eyewitnesses and the Basavanagudi police, at around 4 pm five labourers were digging trenches close to the compound wall of Basavanagudi post office. The wall came crashing as they hit the foundation. While four labourers escaped, Sathanu was killed on the spot.

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has undertaken shifting of utility lines. It has commissioned  Mohan Telecom, a private firm for the job. The utility lines were being shifted to make way for construction of the ramp leading to the underpass being constructed.

Complaint lodged

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike commissioner Siddaiah who visited the spot put the blame on the BWSSB engineer and the contractor.

“The death is due to negligence of the contractor who failed to take precautions before digging the trench,” he said. The BBMP is the nodal agency for the project. It has now lodged a complaint of negligence against Mohan Telecom and the sub-contractor, Bhagyarati Enterprises.

Notices have been issued to owners of the nearby properties to demolish and reconstruct their ‘dilapidated’ compound walls.

Ex gratia announced

The Commissioner said the walls were on the verge of collapse and need to be brought down. “Either they can do it or we will do it for them,” he said.

Mayor S K Nataraj who visited the spot  also blamed the BWSSB and the contractor for the tragedy. He announced an ex gratia of Rs one lakh to the family of the deceased labourer.

The Commissioner has asked the authorities in charge to issue safety guidelines while digging trenches close to a compound wall. He has instructed the Engineering division to safeguard lives at all BBMP project sites. Meanwhile, the BWSSB termed the incident as an accident. 

Shiva Murthy, Assistant Executive Engineer, BWSSB said that labourers were not able to judge soil condition at the particular spot. 

"Labourers had worked on the same road and had dug even deeper. The wall was weak and dampened due to rains,” he said. Since the labourer was not a direct employment of the Board, the onus is on the contractor to compensate the victim, he added.

BWSSB Chief Engineer (Maintenance) T Venkataraju said the contractor Dinesh of Mohan Telecom will be blacklisted. However the work at Tagore Circle will be completed by him only, he said.

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