Saturday, January 30, 2010

Race against Time claimed one more life at CWG Village

The race to complete Commonwealth Games venues on time took another life on Thursday night when a 23-year-old construction worker died at a DDA mega housing project in Vasant Kunj. Nakimuddin Ahmad fell from the seventh floor of the under-construction building, his head hitting the iron scaffolding put up around the building three floors down. He died of the injuries to his head, said police.

Laborers at the construction site said they are hard pressed to meet deadlines and are working in shifts. ‘‘We have been asked to speed up work and several safety measures are being overlooked,” said Meer Hul, one of the workers. The Rs 200 crore, 10-storey project, which will have nearly 3,000 flats, is being built by Brahmaputra Infrastructure Limited. The flats will house Games participants.

Police said Ahmad had been standing on the seventh floor, using a trolley to lift bags of sand from the ground floor.

‘‘It was about 8pm and the contractor had provided no lights to work under. Nor did Ahmad have a safety belt. Ahmad was picking up the bags from the trolley when it fell, dragging him down with it,” said a senior police officer.

He added, ‘‘Another worker who was working on the eighth floor saw Ahmad falling and rushed to save him but by the time he got there, Ahmad was dead,” added the police officer.

Ahmad’s elder brother Zakir Hussain, who works as a supplier at the site, said, ‘‘My brother came to Delhi three months ago. We have all been working hard to finish the project on time. There is very few safety measures observed during construction.” Ahmad, a native of West Bengal, is survived by his parents and a sister. He was paid a daily wage of Rs 125.

Police said they have registered a case of death due to negligence against the contractor and are investigating the matter.

When contacted, the project manager of the housing project, Satish Pal Singh, told Times City, ‘‘I am out of town but will get back to you soon.” Despite repeated efforts, officials at the office of the construction company refused to make a statement.