After six labourers died in accidents in two consecutive days at different factories located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the Labour and Employment department of the Gujarat government ordered closure of Vishal Fabric factory in Dholka taluka and Shri Shakti Chemical factory in Vatva, where the accidents occurred.
According to officials, the Director Industrial Safety and Health (DISH) under the Labour and Employment Department issued a closure order to the two factories on Sunday under section 40 (2) of the Factories act, after conducting a preliminary inquiry which showed “flouting of safety protocols by the management”, as per a statement issued by the Labour department.
On Friday, workers Vishal Meena (20) and Nandlal Meena (21) died by inhaling noxious gases when they entered to clean a dye-making vessel on the premises of Shri Shakti Chemical Factory in Vatva Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) area. Another worker Rahul Meena was admitted in LG Hospital where he was in critical condition.
On Saturday, four workers —Vijay Barad (20), Prabhu Jamod (35), Mayur Barad (25) and Pravin Rathod (36) — died when they entered an Effluent Treatment Process (ETP) tank at Vishal Fabrics Limited factory in Dholi village under Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad.
“We have issued a closure order to the facility so that more lives are not put at risk. We will review the safety aspects before allowing resumption of manufacturing operations. They were also told to pay immediate relief as ex gratia to the next of kin of deceased workers,” said Vipul Mittra, additional chief secretary of Labour and Employment department, in a statement released to the press on Sunday evening.
Later in the day, police registered a case against contractor Ramesh Vaghela under IPC section 304, which pertains to causing death by doing rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.
“Based on the complaint by one of the relatives of the deceased labourers, we booked the contractor and further investigation is underway,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Nitesh Pandey. The contractor has not been arrested yet, he said, adding that a forensic team also visited the factory Sunday.
As per the FIR, despite knowing that poisonous gas from the chemical is fatal and could cause death, the contractor did not provide them with any safety equipment.
WITH PTI INPUTS
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines