2 drown in manhole in Shivamogga

2 drown in manhole in Shivamogga

Two daily wage workers reportedly drowned while cleaning a manhole in the city on Monday.

Aanjanappa (18) and Venkatesh (40) were part of a team undertaking drainage connectivity work near Shaheen Independent Pre-University College at RML Nagara. Workers said that Aanjanappa lost balance while getting down the manhole with the help of a rope, and fell into the 20-foot sewer.

Venkatesh, who got down to rescue him, also drowned. Firefighting staff retrieved the bodies with the help of locals. The Doddapete police registered a case.

Some people said the workers died of suffocation, as they were foaming at the mouth and nose. Doctors said the condition could happen in cases of suffocation and drowning. The autopsy report is awaited.

Aanjanappa and Venkatesh were natives of Benchikatte, Jagaluru taluk, Davangere district. They were among 24 workers who had arrived in Shivamogga from Benchikatte and Annehal of Chitradurga district. Aanjanappa’s father Moorthappa was working near another manhole when his son drowned. Venkatesh is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. They were basically construction labourers doing underground drainage work for a daily wage of Rs 450. 

Corporator Gopalakrishna said the Hyderabad-based Venkataswamy Associates Limited was entrusted with the drainage work worth Rs 115 crore.

Mayor Nagaraj Kankari alleged that the contractor concerned and engineers of the Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board did not take precautionary steps.  The family of each worker will get a compensation of Rs 10 lakh. 

Third incident

This is the third such incident reported in Shivamogga. Four workers had died while cleaning a manhole near the railway station in 1981. Two persons had died while cleaning a sewage treatment plant on the premises of hotel Royal Orchid Central on November 23 in 2012.