Works in progress at Kothagudem Thermal Power Station
Works in progress at Kothagudem Thermal Power Station

 Palvoncha: Safety norms have been allegedly thrown to winds in Kothagudem Thermal Power station (KTPS), including the Rs 5,290-crore KTPS seventh unit which is under construction.

The management is accused of not supplying workers, especially those from other States, with good quality helmets, boots, safety-belts and other paraphernalia. Helmets given to the workers are alleged to be not durable. 

During KTPS seventh unit construction, at least eight were killed and over 40 suffered injuries. The rule that an ambulance should always be present at the work site has been ignored. Basic amenities at cooling tower, chimney, turbine, boiler and coal plant are absent. 

Some of the deceased have been identified as Mohan of Odisha, Rahul Kumar of Bihar, Qhurshid Ansari of Chhattisgarh, Venkateswarlu of Telangana (Khammam) and Santosh Kumar of Punjab. 

The trade unions charge the KTPS management with failure to provide basic amenities for workers. The rules specify that at least 25 safety officials should be deployed at all work sites of seventh unit.  

Trade union leader and former MLA Kunamneni Sambasiva Rao, speaking to The Hans India, alleged total failure in adherence to safety laws and sought probe into workers’ deaths. He demanded the State government to register murder case against the management. 

Refuting the allegations, KTPS Chief Engineer Sammaiah clarified that 25 safety engineers were deployed. Moreover, the workers were given the helmets with the ISI specifications.