VIJAYAWADA: A day after two conservancy workers died of suffocation in a manhole tragedy at Bhavanipuram here, the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) on Thursday announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh, employment and housing facility to the bereaved families.
Contract workers K Rambabu, 48, and P Venkateswara Rao, 50, died of suffocation after getting into the manhole for cleaning the underground drainage at Bhavanipuram on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the kin of deceased staged a protest in front of the mortuary at New Government General Hospital demanding compensation from the VMC.
Mayor Koneru Sreedhar visited the hospital and assured to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the bereaved families on behalf of the civic body.
Employment will be provided to one person each from both the families and housing facility at JNNURM housing complex will be provided to the families, he said.
The VMC officials also promised the kin of the victims that they would make the contractor, who had hired the workers, to pay an additional compensation of Rs 2 lakh each.
Chief engineer Ankaiah and contractor Srinivas Rao signed an agreement to provide compensation for Rambabu and Venkateswara Rao.
Later, VMC chief engineer Ankaiah and Bhavanipuram corporator Y Ramaiah handed over cheques of Rs 2 lakh each to the bereaved families on behalf of the VMC.
“As per the guidelines of the Workmen Compensation Act, the Labour department would decide the compensation in next 15 days or in a month considering the age and salary of the deceased workers. ESI will provide Rs 15,000 as funeral expenses.
The families of the deceased will also get an insurance upto Rs 5 lakh under Chandranna Bhima and Rs 4 lakh SBI insurance taken by the contractor,” Ankaiah said.
The Mayor assured to provide an additional compensation to the bereaved families by taking the issue to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Meanwhile, CPM leader Ch Babu Rao alleged that two contract workers died due to the negligence of the VMC.
“Though the Supreme Court had prohibited manual scavenging, the civic body is still continuing the practise, posing a threat to the UGD workers. At least now, the VMC, should stop the practise of manual scavenging in the city to safeguard the interests of conservancy workers,” Babu Rao said.
He also lauded the relatives of Venkateswara Rao for donating his eyes.