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Posted On : 11 Aug, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
Five days and counting, no progress in probe into sewer deaths
Five days into the incident, there has been no headway in the probe into the death of three men who were manually cleaning a sewer line in Lajpat Nagar, with the prime suspect, a private contractor, still at large.

The Delhi Jal Board, which was asked to submit a report into the case by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is learnt to have conveyed the same in writing, saying only the arrest of the contractor may help unravel the case.

In its report, the DJB has reiterated that it had not authorised any work in the south Delhi area on August 6.

Even the jetting machine, used to mechanically sweep sewers, which was parked near the spot of the incident, belonged to some other division, an official, on condition of anonymity, said.

Jetting machines, operated by private contractors, are usually registered with the DJB.

"The private contractor, who had allegedly deployed these workers to clean around 20 manholes, holds the key. The fact that he is evading police deepens our suspicion. But it is not clear as to who wanted the gutters cleaned. It may have been the market association, but nothing can be said with any authority at this point," the official said.

The Lajpat Nagar incident had come three weeks into the death of four men while cleaning a tank containing poisonous sewage in south Delhi's Ghitorni. In both the cases, the deceased were working for private contractors.