State labour minister Mr Purnendu Basu today announced setting up a hospital for silicosis- affected  stone-cutters in Mohammedbajar.  The state government seems to have woken up to the fact that silicosis  poses a real threat to workers in the stone quarries. Earlier the  state  was in denial mode, with industry minister Mr. Partha Chatterjee claiming that no worker was silicosis afflicted.

Nearly three years ago Mr Chatterjee visited Mohammedbajar to resolve the labour problems plaguing the stone industry. At the time, labourers voiced their concern on spread of silicosis  They demanded proper treatment facilities and compensation.  Chatterjee dismissed such fears.

Today state labour minister Purnendu Basu attended a meeting of the rickshaw-pullers association of Mohammedbajar. There he assured that a hospital to treat silicosis would soon come up.

Courtesy: Statesman News Services, Mohammedbajar