Post the recent instance at Manikonda where a techie had been washed away after stepping inside a manhole left open by the civic authorities, the State government has issued a detailed standard operating procedure with regard to safety precautions while executing works in urban local bodies. An order issued by the Municipal Administration & Urban Development Department delineated the precautions, while warning serious action against the officials under whose jurisdiction such mishaps take place.
The safety and precautionary measures prescribed range from barricading of excavation sites to providing signages, illumination of the sites, round the clock security, and safety equipment to be used by workers during execution of risky jobs, among several others.
In several recent incidents, avoidable safety lapses were found to be the cause on part of the field staff besides lack of supervision by the officials concerned, the orders mentioned.
In view of this, the orders warned that in case of any mishap henceforth, the jurisdictional staff will be primarily held responsible, and if any lapse is found on their part, they will be made personally liable for criminal misconduct.
Immediate action including suspension will be initiated against the head of the agency concerned, head of the department, and municipal commissioner in case of such instances, the orders warned.
Though the works are executed by contractors or agencies, the HoDs concerned, field staff and municipal commissioners cannot hide under such excuse, as ultimate responsibility lies with the municipal commissioner.
A meeting should be conducted with all Engineering contractors, agencies, Engineering, Town Planning, sanitation and other teams of the civic bodies, builders, to convey to them that no manhole, trench or any opening should be left unattended, but should be addressed within 72 hours.