The Congress on Thursday attacked the BJP for the state’s poor record in worker’s safety and industrial accidents. Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said that the BJP was looking the other way as workers’ safety norms were being violated and the labourers were paying the price with their lives in Gujarat.
“Only bribe gets collected in the name of factory inspection. 687 workers lost their lives in factory accidents between 2014 to 2016 while 4,019 suffered serious injuries,” said Doshi.
Doshi was speaking following a fire incident at Sahil Enterprise in Pirana-Pipdaj road where fire and resultant blast in a textile unit ended up killing 12 workers.
Doshi alleged that instead of taking action against that fail to follow safety norms, the government washed its hands of the incident after giving a condolence message.
Doshi alleged that several chemical factories in the state are being still run without the mandatory fire and safety checks in place.
“Every time such a serious incident is reported the GPCB and other departments get into action. Within a few days they forget about it and soon everything is back to square one,” said Doshi.
Factory inspection only in name: Congress
He said incidents like the Pirana-Pipdaj fire happened because factory inspectors are more interested in extorting bribes rather than ensuring safety procedures.
He said that the state has 31,500 factories which employ 16.93 lakh workers. “Of this, only 2000 to 3000 factories with boilers are inspected and often several faults in pressure, leakage and wasting are found yet no action is taken.
The state does not even have 50% of the sanctioned capacity to check boilers in every unit in the state,” said Doshi.
In the last four weeks, eight incidents of industrial accidents have been reported which killed over 24 workers.
“A government that prides itself on favouring businesses have resulted in the loss of 1,239 lives of workers in the last five years of which 161 were in Ahmedabad, 152 in Bharuch, 203 in Surat and 161 in Valsad among others.”
Doshi said the prosperity of the petrochemical, diamond, textile and other businesses in the state was a result of the hard work put in by the workers yet corruption ensures that their lives are put at risk.
He said Gujarat leads in death of workers in industrial accidents and that it was because the BJP government was in cahoots with the industrialists.
To read the latest news in Gujarati click here