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Mohali industrial units operate under old asbestos sheets banned by WHO

A number of units in the Industrial Area in Mohali are being forced to operate from under asbestos sheets with their employees facing a harrowing time.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 14, 2013 2:40 am

A number of units in the Industrial Area in Mohali are being forced to operate from under asbestos sheets with their employees facing a harrowing time.

The staff working in these units is being made to suffer due to the vagaries of the weather. Repeated representations to the authorities have not yielded any

results.

More than 40 units in Phase 8 in Industrial Area are operating under asbestos sheets.

The rainfall has added to their woes,with the leaking roof making it difficult to work.

In an Information Technology unit,the computers had to be covered with polythene sheets. The staff had kept buckets at several locations to catch the water pouring down.

Apart from the danger of the equipment being damaged,the conditions are not conducive for staff members to sit there.

The Mohali Industrial Association has given several representations to the Punjab government but to

no avail.

The members of the association rue that while the Punjab government recently unveiled an industrial policy to attract industry,Punjab Infotech — its own nodal agency to promote IT industry — is turning a blind eye to the problems.

In a representation given to the government,the Mohali Industries Association has stated that the sheds were allotted to the industry 34 years ago.

The life of an asbestos sheet is 15 years long.

Inspection of the area was also conducted by an architect. It was noted that as per ISO 800 code of practice of design of shed and steel structure,the average life of an asbestos sheet is known to be approximately 15 years long. In fact,the use of asbestos has also been banned by the World health Organisation (WHO).

A member of the association states that the architect had termed the structures as unsafe for human use and habitation. The foundation of the structures has become weak and the walls have developed cracks. The association has demanded that they be allowed to change the structures.

Sanjay Vashist,the general secretary of the association says,“We have given numerous representations and have been highlighting the issue for the past two years. However,no action is being taken.”

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