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Occupational Diseases and Deaths of migrant workers from Bihar on Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat

Written By Krishna on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | 2:22 AM

ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)

Principal Secretary,
Labour Department,
Government of Bihar
Date: November 13, 2012  
Subject- Occupational Diseases and Deaths of migrant workers from Bihar on Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat

I wish to draw your urgent attention towards the ongoing occupational deaths and diseases of migrants workers from Bihar on Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat in the hazardous ship breaking activity. In this regard a letter was sent to the Chief Minister of Gujarat as well. Reference: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-11-03/ahmedabad/34893107_1_alang-sender-deaths

I submit that 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.
This is required to ensure 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. 
I have learnt that from workers from villages of Munger district like Katriea, Madreapur, Lakhanpur Sarganj, Wisanpur, Makwa, Mahanpur, Gharhara, Chotemaoali, Bahdepur, Chirnyabag, Baryarpur, Ratanpur, Balaahi and Purshottampur have been going to work in the hazardous industry at Alang. Workers from Gaya district go from villages like Despura, Bhadaya, Jagir, Jagir Bespura and Pahdea. Workers from villages of Saran district like Jumaighar, Jumaighar, Kedarposta, Jainawan and Domaeegarh have been working in the hazardous industry on Alang beach.  
I submit that the District Magistrates of Munger, Gaya and Chhapra may be 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.     
I submit 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.

I submit that it is the duty of your Department to gather data of the migrant workers of the State who are involved in the ship breaking activity at Alang beach, Bhavnagar, Gujarat given the fact that they are globally recognized to be the most vulnerable workforce prone to highest number of accidental deaths and incurable occupational diseases.

In view of the above, I urgently seek your pro-active intervention to ensure that  migrant workers from Bihar get both medical and legal remedy besides just compensation and to ensure that the guilty officials and ship breakers are made accountable in an exemplary manner to set matters right.      
Thanking You

Yours faithfully
Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
New Delhi
PIN. 110016
Phone: +91-11-26517814, Fax: +91-11-26517814
Mb: 9818089660

Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour 
Secretary, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar
Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat
Principal Secretary, Labour Department, Government of Gujarat  
Principal Secretary, Health Department, Government of Bihar
Chairman, Bihar State Human Rights Commission
Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi 
District Magistrate, Munger,
District Magistrate, Gaya
District Magistrate, Saran

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