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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Rights panel summons CS after death of another silicosis patient

Debashish Sarkar  Jamshedpur, May 02, 2014
First Published: 23:29 IST(2/5/2014) | Last Updated: 23:32 IST(2/5/2014)

Another silicosis patient, Ram Bagal, died on his way to Musaboni Public Health Center (PHC) even as the Jharkhand government is yet to act on National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) notice seeking detailed report on silicosis related deaths, patients and compensation so far paid to them.

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The NHRC has now issued yet another summon to the state chief secretary asking his personal appearance along with a comprehensive report by May 30.

With Bagal’s demise, the silicosis death toll in the district has now gone up to 42 - all were engaged in two quartz grinding units in KK Industries and KK Minerals in Musaboni, 60 km southeast from here.

The commission has also decided to hold its eastern regional review meeting on silicosis in Jamshedpur on July 4 and 5. The move is apparently aimed at having first-hand account of the plight of silicosis and dust affected workers and their families in the state.

“Jharkhand has yet not filed its report on over 40 deaths due to silicosis in East Singhbhum district in case no-1013/34/6/2007-08.

The commission has served summon seeking state chief secretary’s personal appearance before the commission by May 30 along with the detailed report. The commission has also decided to hold its regional review meeting on silicosis in Jamshedpur,” CK Tyagi, NHRC presenting officer, told HT on Friday from Delhi.

Bagal, a resident of Badiya (Marichjhopri), died on April 25 while being taken to Musaboni PHC after his condition deteriorated.

Bagal is survived by his wife and two daughters. His elder daughter could not appear for her matriculation exam owing to Bagal’s prolonged illness and resulting economic hardship.

Another patient Basudev Bhagat had died on March 25 at the Singh Nursing Home in Ghatsila while yet another Salkhu Murmu had died on December 30 at the Ganga Nursing Home here in the city. Six more patients in the list - Soram Munda, Bhola Mukhi, Giddu Behera, Som Bahadur, Laxmi Patar and Levia Banra - continue to stare at death.

“I’ve been writing to the government since December last listing 20 silicosis affected workers of which seven were in acute condition along with a list of 136 silica dust affected workers. Now I am told by the villagers that they’ve been called to block office for health check on May 5 by a team from Ranchi,” OSHAJ secretary general Samit Carr told HT.


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