Miners resent inadequate safety measures at SCCL

Miners resent inadequate safety measures at SCCL
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Mateti Venu Gopal Khammam: Though the management of Singareni Collieries Company Limited...

Mateti Venu Gopal

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Khammam: Though the management of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has been making arrangements for the celebration of `Safety Week' at its mines and at offices annually, it is not showing the same interest in preventing accidents at the mines, leaders of workers unions opine.

The SCCL was established about 120 years ago and has been carrying coal mining operations, both in underground mines (UGMs) and open cast mines (OCMs), in four districts of Khammam, Adilabad, Karimnagar and Warangal. The company has 63 underground (UG) mines and 35 Open Cast Mines (OCMs) spread over the four districts.

``The management has been able to achieve its targets in annual coal production; but has not been taking adequate measures to prevent mishaps,'' the workers leaders regret.

Nearly 100 miners died and 10,000 sustained injuries in various accidents during January 2005 to April 5, 2013. Fifteen persons in Srirampur area, 10 in Ramagundam-1 (RG-1) and 10 in RG-3 died during the 100-month period. As many as 6,890 sustained injuries,3,169 seriously, during the period.

At the press conferences, the management's top officials maintain that they were able to achieve annual production targets with the cooperation of miners. However, they were not providing sufficient safety equipment at the mines, the leaders lament.

The work places lack safety equipment (oxygen masks, headlights, safety helmets, fire extinguishers, temperature cooling equipment, first aid kits etc). The officials also delay in shifting injured persons to the hospitals. They also fail to provide adequate compensation to the injured miners in time, the leaders complain.

Several thousands of workers have been working under unsafe circumstances for their livelihood and to feed their family members. Ignoring the hard work done by the workers, the Central Government and the Company management have been imposing and collecting income tax from the workers which the majority of workers resent.

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