Bhushan Steel Plant – Death Bed for Labourers!
The recent accident at the Bhushan Steel Plant in Dhenkanal, has triggered a massive outrage across the state. Why the government is still showing leniency to Bhushan despite the fact more and more people are losing their lives due to mishaps, remains a mystery to the people of Odisha. The government pretends to be strong on paper, but on reality, things are different.
This is an irony that Bhushan Steel could not give the exact figure on the casualties and injuries from the major fire occurred at Blast Furnace 2 on November 13. The district administration and police officials failed to retrieve the truth from the company authorities and had no option but to believe what they said. The blast furnace was reportedly being run illegally without due permission.
The official death toll was put at just one, but some eyewitnesses claimed that many dead bodies were taken away in a vehicle to an unknown destination by the company officials. The allegations further claimed that those labourers were mostly from West Bengal and Bihar and thus, are not listed anywhere. The company is only giving the figures of locals, as it fear a backlash here, they have claimed. Even, many foreigners (Engineers) and non-Odia labourers are among those missing till date.
It is not immediately known whether these allegations are true or not. But, there should be a CBI probe to ascertain the claims and the cause of frequent mishaps at Bhushan Steel Plan, which has become a death bed for the labourers. If we believe the data collected from various sources, at least 105 people have lost their lives so far ever since Bhushan began its operations.
The casualties included, 2 in 2005, 2 in 2006, 7 in 2007, 16 in 2008, 15 in 2009, 12 in 2010, 12 in 2011, 20 in 2012 and 19 in 2013. These are the official data. Unofficial sources put the death toll at over 200, which is a matter of grave concern. Hopefully, good sense will prevail and the government will take strong, corrective action to prevent the repetition of such incidents.