By Our Representative
In a clear case of “indifference”, the Gujarat government has ignored a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) advice, sent in the form of a “recommendation”, to pay up Rs 5 lakh each to five workers who had died of the deadly silicosis disease about three years ago. The state-based NGO People’s Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, in a statement, said the NHRC had acted on its complaint in 2011 and arrived at the conclusion that the Gujarat government had failed to ensure safety standards in stone cutting units, operating in Godhra, Gujarat, where these workers were employed, but as it has refused to act within six weeks, given by the NHRC, making PTRC to write a letter to Gujarat chief secretary Varesh Sinha to enforce NHRC recommendation.
Asking Sinha to “enforce the recommendation and arrange to pay Rs 5 lakh to each of the five families who lost their bread earner due to silicosis, a fatal occupational disease”, the PTRC said, it had filed “the complaint No 1012 in 2011 in which it was said that the victims worked in quartz crushing units in Godhra where they were exposed to fine silica dust for a long period causing Silicosis. During hearing, the Government of Gujarat gave replies with which the NHRC was not impressed. This led the NHRC to issue show-cause notice to the state government. In its final verdict the NHRC noted that the state government has failed in its duty to protect health and life of the workers which led the deaths. Hence state cannot evade its responsibility to pay compensation.” Read more