The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports that an iron net of an under construction bridge of Public Works Department, PWD fell down leading to death of two workers on the spot and injuries to another in City Kotwali area of Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The police and administrative officers found the contractor responsible for negligence and had ordered an independent enquiry. 

The Commission has observed that the content of the newspaper reports, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims.  Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Secretary, PWD and Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh calling for a detailed report in the matter. The Chief Secretary has been asked to inform what steps have been taken or proposed to be taken to deal with such incident across the State.

The Commission has also observed that the labourers working at construction site are entitled to protective gears which the administration had, apparently, failed to provide. It is also not clear as to whether there was compliance with Standard Operating Procedures.  In a welfare country like India, the State has a responsibility to remain vigilant to prevent such unfortunate incident by taking proper measures, which appears to have been lacking in this case.

According to the newspaper reports, carried today on the 28th November, 2018, that under the Smart City programme, the new bridge was under construction in place of one Khumran bridge and the work had been assigned to the PWD by the local civic authorities.  The construction activities were in progress for the last two months.  All the victims were the residents of village Maisroli, P.S. Rajapur, District Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh.