HSL tragedy: CITU seeks inquiry by SC judge

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has demanded an inquiry by a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court into the collapse of the heavy duty crane at the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL), leading to the death of 10 workers on the spot, even as the trial run was on.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered a departmental inquiry. Describing the accident as unusual, CITU State president Ch. Narasinga Rao told the media here on Monday that the departmental probe would serve no purpose.

In 2013, Anupam Industries of Mumbai, left the job halfway through the project, after taking 90% of the bill. The crane, which was kept idle for eight years and now it was taken up for erection, without undertaking any safety measures. This was for the first time in the 79-year-history of the shipyard, that a crane had collapsed. He demanded arrest of the HSL management and also the management of Greenfields Corporation under Section 304 B of IPC.

The CITU leader attributed the increase in industrial accidents in and around Visakhapatnam to the non-insistence on conduct of safety audits and the State government allowing self-certification letters from the managements in place of safety audits. Huge amounts of ex gratia after an accident would not bring back lost lives and regular safety audits must be conducted in all the industries every year, he said.

Referring to the announcement of Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao announcing an ex gratia of ₹15 lakh on behalf of the government and ₹35 lakh from HSL, the CITU leader said that it was far from adequate. The families of the workers, who died in the accident, should be paid ₹1 crore each, as was paid to the dependent of those who died in the LG Polymers tragedy. The compensation must be paid by Greenfields Corporation, he said but not from the government exchequer. He also demanded that one person from each of the deceased worker’s family, should be given a permanent job in HSL, on compassionate grounds.

Public Sector Coordination Committee convener S. Jyothiswara Rao, Shipyard Union leader K.M. Kumaramangalam and CITU city pesident R.K.S.V. Kumar were present.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 10:38:00 PM |

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