ToxicsWatch Alliance seeks govt attention on Biharis working in Alang shipbreaking yards
Patna,(BiharTimes): The ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) has drawn the ‘urgent attention’ of the Bihar government towards the ongoing occupational deaths and diseases of migrants workers from Bihar working in Alang shipbreaking yards, in Bhavnagar (Gujarat).
In a letter written to the Principal Secretary, Labour Department of government of Bihar on Tuesday its convenor, Gopal Krishna, urged the Labour Department ought to inquire into the number of migrant workers from the State who work in the hazardous ship breaking yards on Alang beach to seek relief for the diseased and their family.
A letter in this regard has already been written to the Chief Minister of Gujarat as well.
Krishna’s letter said that the routine deaths of migrant workers from the State do not go unattended. It ought to consider getting the old cases of deaths of Bihari migrant workers on the Alang beach re-opened. The States’ Labour Department ought to coordinate with its counterpart in Gujarat to probe the occupational diseases and deaths of Bihari Alang workers and made those who responsible for it liable for their acts of omission and commission.
According to the letter workers from Katriea, Madreapur, Lakhanpur, Sarganj, Wisanpur, Makwa, Mahanpur, Gharhara, Chotemaoali, Bahdepur, Chirnyabag, Baryarpur, Ratanpur, Balaahi and Purshottampur villages of Munger district have been going to work in the hazardous industry at Alang.
Labourers from Despura, Bhadya, Jagir, Jagir Bespura and Pahadia villages from Gaya district and Jumaighar, Jumaighar, Kedarposta, Jainawan and Domaeegarh villages in Saran district have been working in the hazardous industry on Alang beach.
The copy of the letter has been sent to the DMs of Munger, Gaya and Saran. They have been asked to conduct a survey and submit a report about these workers. The workers may be asked to register before leaving to work there to ensure that in case of casualty or accident District Administration can intervene to pursue their cases.
The letter said that in case of injury or death, they are rarely compensated. Narratives of local fishermen refer to dumping of workers bodies in the sea. Workers mention the use of violence by the local police against attempts of strikes by them over dispute about salary, safety, working and living conditions.A table indicating year wise deaths of migrant workers on Alang beach is attached. This may be examined as well.
“Let me take the opportunity to state that it is a fit case for National Human Rights Commission and States’ Human Rights Commission to take suo motto notice and ensure that the rights of migrant workers are protected,” the letter said.