Probe or­dered into the death of 23 work­ers

India Today - - NATION - By Asit Jolly

Itook the death of 23 work­ers to make the Pun­jab gov­ern­ment or­der a safety au­dit of the state’s fac­to­ries. The vic­tims, mi­grant labour­ers from Bi­har, Jhark­hand and east­ern Ut­tar Pradesh, were killed when the four-sto­ried Shi­tal Fi­bres, a high-end blan­ket man­u­fac­tur­ing unit, came crash­ing down around mid­night on April 16. Se­cu­ri­ty­men res­cued 75 work­ers. Around a 100 men were work­ing on the night of the col­lapse, in which 42 were in­jured. Two are still miss­ing. The state gov­ern­ment has an­nounced Rs 3 lakh for the dead and Rs 65,000 for those se­ri­ously in­jured. Chief Min­is­ter Parkash Singh Badal di­rected Pun­jab In­dus­tries Sec­re­tary Achru Ram Tal­war to con­duct a safety au­dit of all fac­to­ries. “We want to as­cer­tain both la­tent and patent de­fects in in­dus­trial struc­tures,” he said.

The fac­tory was op­er­at­ing with­out li­cence. The unit re­port­edly did not have the sta­bil­ity cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Yet, it was given a power con­nec­tion by Pun­jab State Power Cor­po­ra­tion Limited. Jalandhar Di­vi­sional Com­mis­sioner Anurag Verma, head­ing the probe, has ques­tioned the role of four labour depart­ment of­fi­cers. The probe will test the gov­ern­ment’s re­solve to pun­ish the guilty.


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