On intervention of NHRC, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has paid Rs 50 thousand each as relief to six workers, who suffered burn injuries due to the lack of safety measures while maintaining the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in May 2014.
The NHRC observed that the nature of the work carried out in nuclear power projects does not allow any laxity on the part of the authorities in the maintenance of safety standards.
“Owing to such negligence on the part of KKNPP and NPCIL, the six workers of the project have suffered burn injuries ranging from 60 to 70 per cent resulting in physical pain, mental agony and trauma to them and their families,” a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) statement said.
“This cannot be adequately compensated through bearing the cost of treatment or paying wages for the period of
absence from duty. There was clear violation of the human rights of the injured employees and they should be adequately compensated for it,” it added.
The commission had taken cognizance of the matter on basis of media reports.
In response to the commission’s notices, the Chairman and Managing Director, NPCIL and the District Collector,
Tirunelveli confirmed the incident and informed that all the sick persons, including a supervisor, two technicians and three contract workers suffered 60-70 per cent burn injury.
“All of them were provided free of cost treatment … The contractual employees have been paid the wages for the period of their absence due to the incident. The period of the absence from duty in the case of NPCIL employees was also regularized,” the statement said.
The commission also noted that an enquiry report by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board pointed deficiencies in the
safety standards at the Unit of KKNPP where an accident had happened.
“The report pointed fingers towards negligence on the part of KKNPP and NPCIL and suggested that the incident could
have been avoided had the guidelines under maintenance manual were followed.
“Among other things, it said that the persons working were not wearing personal protective equipments as required
except safety helmet and shoes,” the NHRC statement said.