Madhya Pradesh Urban Administration Minister Bhupendra Singh has ordered registration of an FIR against officials of a Gujarat-based private construction firm after its two staffers, including a minor, died while measuring the depth of a sewage line's manhole in Bhopal.
A primary inquiry by Bhopal civic commissioner revealed the incident took place on Monday due to lack of safety standards by the construction company, said an official statement issued on Tuesday evening.
Mr Singh also ordered a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the relatives of the two and to impose a penalty on the company, the statement said.
The minister wrote a letter to Bhopal police commissioner to register an FIR against officials of the Ankita Construction company, engaged in a sewage project in the MP capital city, it said.
The statement said it was found the incident took place due to lack of safety standards by the construction company. The firm did not provide necessary safety gear required for sewage-related works to its staffers, resulting in the incident, it said.
The two men were identified as Dipak Kumar Singh (28), an engineer hailing from Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, and labourer Bharat Singh (a minor), resident of MP's Jhabua district.
The company committed a criminal act as the dead labourer (Bharat Singh) was a minor, the MP government's statement said, but it did not mention his age.
When contacted, Gandhinagar police station in-charge Arun Sharma told PTI on Wednesday that they were investigating the matter and verifying the facts.
"After the process, the FIR will be registered,” he said.
He said Bharat Singh was about 17 years and six months old.
Earlier, after the incident on Monday, police had said the dead's age was around 22 years.
The dead were workers of the Gujarat-based Ankita Construction company, which had bagged a contract in 2018 from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation for laying a sewage line, an official said earlier.
They had got down into the manhole here to measure its depth, he said.
On Monday, some people saw a man lying unresponsive inside an open manhole here and alerted police.
A police team rushed to the spot and brought out Dipak Singh from a depth of about 20-feet. After spotting a pair of slippers lying nearby, the police further searched the manhole and found Bharat Singh dead inside.
Sources had said the two may have died of asphyxiation inside the manhole.