Worker killed in Bangalore metro project crane crash

Bangalore, July 28 : A construction worker was crushed to death Sunday at a metro rail project site when a huge crane lifting a heavy beam crashed on him, a police official said.

"The incident happened late afternoon when a crane, onboard a truck, collapsed at the Peenya metro station in the northwest suburb killing Govindaraju, 45, under the weight of a five-tonne angular beam," Peenya Inspector M. Shamanna told IANS here.

A case has been registered against the state-run Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and its contractor under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal negligence and causing the death of Govindraju, who hails from Vellore in Tamil Nadu.

"It is unfortunate that such a fatal mistake happened at the metro rail project in spite of insisting on stringent safety measures and proper training to its workforce.

"We have summoned metro officials and contractor for interrogation to ascertain how the incident happened and who was responsible. We will not hesitate to arrest if the costly lapse is prime facie established," Shammana said.

Peenya station is part of the metro project's Reach-1 second phase and will connect the main railway station and the central bus terminal to Peenya industrial hub on the city's outskirts when completed later this year.

The woeful conditions of hundreds of metro project workers, including many from states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, forced the Karnataka High Court recently to pull up the corporation and threaten to stop the work.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice D.H. Wagela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna July 4 directed the corporation to ensure that contractors adhered to safety rules and provided better conditions for their welfare.

"We will no more treat it as violation of labour laws. We will treat them as violations of human rights of these workers. Development cannot be at the cost of workers," the bench said July 4 while hearing a public interest litigation filed by social worker Samuel Sathyaseelam, complaining against the pathetic condition of workers engaged in the metro project.

--IANS (Posted on 28-07-2013)

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