Madhya Pradesh ranks highest in terms of deaths due to industrial accidents and inhalation of toxic fumes, a recent report by the National Crime Records Bureau on accidental casualties and suicides in India has revealed.
The report said 213 people died in industrial accidents through 2015, of which 55 – the highest count – occurred in Madhya Pradesh. It was followed by Gujarat with 31 deaths, Rajasthan with 28, Uttar Pradesh with 23, and Chhattisgarh with 17.
Surprisingly, Madhya Pradesh had occupied the sixth position with just 12 cases in 2014.
The state also topped the list of deaths due to inhalation of toxic gases, with at least 116 such cases being registered in 2015. It was followed by Tamil Nadu with 99 deaths, Gujarat with 51, Andhra Pradesh with 37, and Rajasthan with 23. The total number of such casualties across the country stood at 394.
Madhya Pradesh had registered just 14 such cases in 2014, occupying the eighth position.
This comes as a blow to the reputation of the state, which had witnessed the infamous Union Carbide gas leak in 1984. While the official death count of that disaster stood at 5,000, rights activists pegged it between 20,000 and 25,000 victims.
Directorate of Industrial health and Safety (Madhya Pradesh) director PD Narya told HT that the department was doing its best to curtail industrial accidents in the state. “We have just 20 officers to handle 51 districts of the state. Despite the staff shortage, we regularly visit industrial units to spread awareness on safety measures. Apart from this, we work in tandem with the Disaster Management Institute in Bhopal to find ways to curb industrial accidents,” he said.
Narya said a possible reason for the rise in industrial casualties might be the inclusion of cases under the Building Construction Enforcement (BCE) Act. “The BCE Act is being implemented more stringently in the state now. Cases that occur under it are also considered industrial accidents,” he added.
DEATHS DUE TO INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS IN 2015
1. Madhya Pradesh - 55
2. Gujarat- 31
3. Rajasthan -28
4. Uttar Pradesh - 23
5. Chhattisgarh - 17
Total deaths in India - 213
DEATHS DUE TO INHALATION OF TOXIC GASES IN 2015
1. Madhya Pradesh - 116
2. Tamil Nadu - 99
3. Gujarat - 51
4. Andhra Pradesh - 37
5. Rajasthan - 23
Total deaths in India - 394