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Centre, state served notices over poor workers’ condition

Around 20,000 migrant workers are engaged in hazardous activities, and proper care must be taken for their health and safety.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | July 4, 2014 1:27:57 pm

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued fresh notices to the state and the  Centre over a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging poor condition of migrant labourers working at the Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar and its security concerns.

The state assured the court that it would submit its reply within a week, while the Centre sought 15 days’ time.

The petitioner, Bhavnagar-based lawyer Pradeepsinh Gohil,  has said in the PIL that thousands of poor labourers at the yard are deprived of  benefits such as accommodation, full-fledged hospital, sanitation, among other facilities.

“It is submitted that frequent incidents of occupational accidents occur every year in the ship-breaking yard. Therefore, a hospital is urgently needed at the yard. A large number of workers have died owing to industrial accidents and could have been saved had there been a full-fledged hospital,” the petitioner mentioned.

It further said that around 20,000 migrant workers are engaged in hazardous activities, and proper care must be taken for their health and safety.

Citing the November, 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, the petition states that Alang Marine police station should be equipped with weaponry and staff, or an anti-terrorist squad or a special commando unit because it is vital.

“A few days back, six workers were killed in accidents at the yard. Therefore, through the petition we have demanded that there should be a proper mechanism and facilities to curb such occurrences. Our records say that more than 200 workers have died so far since the inception of the yard,” said lawyer Jaysinh Jadeja who represents the petitioner.

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