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HomemaharashtraDay after Nagpur factory blast, opposition alleges safety lapses, exploitation of workers

Day after Nagpur factory blast, opposition alleges safety lapses, exploitation of workers

Nagpur: Opposition legislators in Maharashtra on Monday alleged lapses by Solar Industries India, where a blast claimed nine lives a day before, in ensuring the safety of workers and demanded action against Industrial Safety Department officials.

Raising the issue in the Legislative Council, they also said workers at the factory have been exploited for long and not paid minimum wages as per norms.

A Congress MLC said similar incidents had happened in the company in the past while opposition leader Ambadas Danve (Shiv Sena-UBT) said mandatory safety drills were not conducted.

Danve demanded a report from the Nagpur district collector to fix accountability and demanded action against officials concerned from the Industrial Safety Department.

Nine people were killed and three others seriously injured in a massive blast at the explosives manufacturing factory in Chakdoh in Nagpur district on Sunday.

Congress MLC Shashikant Shinde moved a point of information in the legislative council where he spoke about the safety record of the factory.

“This isn’t the first time that an explosion occurred in the company. There were two such incidents in the past,” Shinde said.

Referring to the Rs 20 lakh compensation announced by the company to the victims and Rs 5 lakh by the state government, Shinde wondered whether the government is placing a monetary value on the lives of innocent people.

“Around 4,000 workers are employed on a daily wage basis in the company on a meagre Rs 10,000 per month,” he said and demanded permanent employment for them.

Danve, who visited the blast site, said the bodies of the deceased were dismembered.

“Mandatory safety drills had not been conducted at the company and even officials from the industrial safety department were denied access to the premises,” he said.

Danve said workers at the factory were forced into early morning shifts after working late the previous night.

Another Congress MLC, Bhai Jagtap, said while the minimum wage is Rs 12,000 in Maharashtra, the company was paying only Rs 10,500 per month to the workers.

He demanded that the services of workers be regularised.

Council chairperson Neelam Gorhe said the matter would be discussed on Tuesday under section 97 of the rules.

A day before, Solar Industries India senior general manager Ashish Srivastava had said that the incident occurred in the building where boosters used in coal mines are produced. “It took place when sealing work of the product was going on.”

Police have registered a case against unidentified persons in connection with the blast under the Indian Penal Code on the charges of causing death by negligence and negligent conduct with respect to the explosive substance, an official said on Monday.

(Published 18 December 2023, 11:08 IST)

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