Strike at Karcham-Wangtoo and Baspa hydro projects

1,300 workers to step up stir against Jaypee

SHIMLA: As many as 1,300 workers of Karcham-Wangtoo and Baspa hydropower projects of Jaypee power company took a pledge to put a “tilak” of blood to express their solidarity.

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 7

As many as 1,300 workers of Karcham-Wangtoo and Baspa hydropower projects of Jaypee power company took a pledge to put a “tilak” of blood to express their solidarity.

The workers, who assembled at Tapri, decided to continue the agitation and give a befitting reply to the measures of the management to sabotage the agitation.

“We will fight injustice till the last breath and not succumb to any pressure and intimidation”, said union leader Jeevan Singh Negi. Workers, including 815 daily wagers, are demanding a hike in wages on a par with SJVNL counterparts, regularisation of workers and implementation of labour laws.

Senior Himachal CPM leader Rakesh Singh, who is supporting the agitation, said the labour laws were being flouted by the Jaypee management and even the no-objection certificate (NOC) for construction from the tribal villages had not been obtained and the Labour Department had remained a mute spectator.

He alleged that more than 100 persons had died and even the FIRs were not registered in all cases. Citing an example of Nirmal Singh, who died on April 2009 at the IGMC, Shimla, after being fallen while at work, Singha said a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Commissioner Kinnaur.

Workers had demanded an inquiry into the incident as the post-mortem was not conducted and even the medical report was fiddled with.

The people are demanding justice for the families of the workers who died while working on the project, he added.

He appealed to MLAs of both BJP and Congress to raise the issue in the Vidhan Sabha.

Moreover, as per the policy of the government, the project management is supposed to spend 1 per cent of the cost on the local area development and the amount has to be deposited with the government.

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