Labourers at the Bandhwari solid waste plant are endangering their lives as the authorities have not provided them with basic safety equipment such as proper uniform, gloves, masks and gumboots.
The workers have complained about health issues such as skin diseases, stomach problems, respiratory problems and burns across the body.
“We have not been given any masks or gloves. I have been working at the plant from the last three years. While spraying pesticides on garbage, I developed an infection on my face. I don’t have money to get myself treated,” said Kamal Mandal, a worker at the plant.
Another labourer Rajpal, employed as a driver of a dumpster truck, said, “I stopped working at the plant a year ago following a severe stomach infection. I returned to my native town to undergo treatment. An year has passed, the pain persists.”
While the plant management — AKC Developers Ltd — refused to comment on the issue, a deputy general manager of the plant, who refused to disclose his name, said, “I am not a competent authority. The board of directors is supposed to comment.”
On the other hand, Dr Sumit Dhankhar, medical officer (MO-MCG), supposed to inspect labour safety measures, said, “Please approach the plant directors.”
Sanjay Chugh, public relations officer, MCG, said, “I have no information on this but the medical officer of the MCG is responsible for the present state of affairs.”
Meanwhile, labour commissioner Ajmer Deswal said, “We have no idea about the problems being faced by the labourers. We have never inspected the plant. But we will take appropriate action as per the law.”