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They build our metro but live in squalor

Staff Reporter
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appalling:With no ventilation or power supply, Namma Metro workers’ accommodation turns into a scorching furnace in summer.— PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.
appalling:With no ventilation or power supply, Namma Metro workers’ accommodation turns into a scorching furnace in summer.— PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

Luv Singh, 20, a migrant labourer from Punjab, had a minor accident while he was doing some welding as part of his work at a Namma Metro worksite. He alleges that neither first aid was provided nor his pleas for medical assistance heeded.

A recce of an accommodation camp set up by Simplex Infrastructure, one of the contractors, in Nayandahalli, where over 170 metro workers live, reveals many such stories. Worse, it also throws light on the appalling living conditions of these workers who are part of a prestigious multi-crore picture that promises to change the face of Bangalore.

The camp has 10 toilets, all connected to an open drain. Of these only three have a proper water connection. Poorly maintained, workers told The Hindu these toilets are pretty much unserviceable.

Their accommodation is also squalid. The 25 tin-roofed tenements are shared by around 170 labourers who share bunk beds.

With no ventilation or power supply, these structures turn into scorching furnaces in summer. Labourers say that by now they have got used to the extreme stench of the open sewer skirting their accommodation.

What really bothers them are the rats that infest their homes and the entire premises. The water tank, which is the only source of water here, has fungus lining its insides.

Ratnamma, who rents out the land to Simplex for Rs. 25,000 a month, says she has often heard the workers complaining of rat bites. Unhappy with the way her land is maintained, she says that she has given the contractor three months to vacate the land.


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