Department of Labor issues notifications to officials of Muda, contractor

MYSURU: Three labourers had a miraculous escape after they were trapped under a heap of mud which caved in while laying drainage pipes at Dasanakoppal recently.
Considering the seriousness of the incident, the authorities of labour department have issued notice to Muda and decided to file a police complaint against the officials of the civic agency.

The labour department authorities alleged that Mysuru Urban Development Authority (Muda) officials had failed to take permission from the department, which is mandatory, before commencing the work.

Muda had initiated the work to lay drainage pipes at Dasanakoppal, which is around 9km away from the city, from the last two months. On January 8, while laying pipes after digging the ground, three labourers were trapped under the heap of mud which caved in on them.

Luckily, all the three were rescued immediately by other workers and villagers and were shifted to a private hospital. While two workers received minor injuries and were discharged after first aid, one had sustained a fracture and was discharged after a few days.

Despite the mishap, labourers didn’t file any complaint against the contractor or the Muda authorities fearing loss of jobs. Jayapura police told STOI that they had asked the labourers to file a complaint against the contractor for the incident to avail compensation, but they refused.

However, the authorities of the labour department have decided to file a complaint against Muda as well as the contractor.

Speaking to STOI, senior labour inspector Sashidhar said, “If the labourers had enrolled themselves with the labour department, they would have received compensation and other hospital benefits based on the severity of the injuries and percentage of disability.”

Sashidhar said labour officer Geetha has issued a notice to Muda for not taking prior permission from the labour department and asked to reply on the safety measures adopted at the work site. “A complaint will also be lodged with police by the department against Muda and the contractor,” he said.

When STOI contacted Mysuru assistant labour commissioner A C Thamanna, he said police complaint will be lodged by the local area inspector. “I have also directed the officer to take action if there was any violation in taking up safety precautions under The Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act 1996. We are investigating the incident,” he said.

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