Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 5:
The Odisha Human Rights Commission has directed the state government to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation to the family of a minor school boy who died after falling into an open septic tank under construction in the premises of Balaram High School at Kusumi under Mahulapali police station limits in Kuchinda in Sambalpur district on July 26 last year.
The directive of the Commission has come in response to a petition filed by well-known lawyer and Human Rights activist Prabir Das.
In his petition, Das had stated that the deceased Jitendra Kisan, son of Kartik Kisan resident of Kusumi, fell into an open septic tank under construction in the premises of the school. Later, he was rushed to sub divisional hospital at Kuchinda where the doctors declared him brought dead.
“The septic tank has no barricade around it and that there was gross negligence of duty on the part of the school authority which resulted in the tragic death of the boy,” he said, while praying for a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased.
Acting on the petition, the Commission later asked the Sambalpur collector to submit a report on the incident.
The report of the collector, basing o the inquiry report of the District Welfare Officer, Sambalpur confirmed the allegation that the victim fell into the half constructed septic tank meant for the hostel attached to Balaram High School. The construction work was inordinately delayed while no safety and security measures were taken to protect the children from falling into the pit.
The Commission, after going through the report, observed that the death of the child took place due to sheer negligence on the part of the ITDA authorities to put in place necessary barricade and other structure around the pit which was left in an incomplete stage for months together.
“This is particularly objectionable in view of the fact that the construction was taking place close to a school where many children were frequenting the place. The poor child of a tribal lost his life due to such negligence and we feel that his parents need to be compensated by the state government”, the Commission said in its judgement and directed the state government to pay Rs 3 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased within two months.