Government has formed a committee of three independent experts to investigate the reasons for collapse of under-construction tunnel at Khooni nallah in Ramban on Srinagar-Jammu Highway on May 19 night and suggest remedial measures. Ten labourers died while three others were injured in the unfortunate yet avoidable incident.
The trapped workers did not survive and bodies of 10 workers were recovered after about 48 hours of rescue operation. Those whose life could not be saved are being given Workman compensation and additional ex-gratia of Rs 2.00 lakh by EPC contractor which amounts to at least Rs 15 lakh, the MoRTH underlined. The injured are also being adequately compensated, it said. In addition, the administration has also announced ex- gratia relief of Rs 1.0 lakh. It is yet to be determined whether the occurrence of the incident is due to work being executed or due to natural reasons.
MoRTH said that it was yet to be determined whether the occurrence of the incident was due to work being executed or due to natural reasons.
Any injury sustained at work or loss of life means not only the loss of the earning member but also additional medical expenses. A regular audit of the construction contractors is needed to ensure that the workers get health, safety and welfare-related provisions. Any lapse in this regard must be dealt with severely.
The importance of labour to the construction industry cannot be overemphasized. On the other hand, the labourers depend on daily wages to keep their homes and hearths running. There are sometimes reports about delaying their payments and the government needs to take such issues very seriously.
There is need to provide and ensure safety gears. There is need to allay fears surrounding fatal accidents with the biggest concern being for workmen falling to the ground through openings, tripping into excavation pits or being injured by falling loose material from great heights.
The government should ensure that the site should be equipped with fire extinguisher, ladder, rope and other safety tools to deal with any emergency.
The National Building Code also makes it mandatory to involve appropriate professionals in all stages of construction work. These codes form the fundamental technical principles to be followed during the design and construction of buildings for safe and sustainable developments. The government must ensure that all measures regarding the safety of individuals are ensured.