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Inhumane negligence of authorities towards labors working at coal mines

Quetta: At least 23 miners were killed and several others injured last week after two separate coal mines collapsed in Marwat and Sorange areas of Quetta, Balochistan. 

The incident gave rise to many questions concerning the state labors are made to work in at these coal mines. Inspecting into the entire situation, it was found that let alone safety precautions, the coal mines don’t even have basic first aid kid facility available for laborers. The inspections files were closed after being marked falsely.

After continuous denials, the authorities had to finally agree on the non-availability of facilities at the mines. Roshan, a laborer mining for the past 35 years told ARY News, “It has been 35 years that I am coal mining. In 35 years, no officer dealing with labor laws has come. Nobody has asked if we have any facilities her. They are no labor laws. We are only asked to dig our coal. If we die, so we die. There is nothing; first aid nothing. There are no hospitals, doctors, or ambulances.”

Janzada, added to Roshan’s claim, saying, “My cousin and 6 people from my village have died in this accident. Labors have no facilities anywhere. We are scared but we are obligated. If we take someone from here in case of emergency that person is going to die on the way.”

But it is not just the labors complaining of their debilitating conditions, the contractors are equally as unpleased, “We are given a target for coal production for example 20,000 tonnes per year and you have to achieve it otherwise, we have to pay a fine. I have gone till the Mines commissioner to request them to have some mercy on our labors. There are no schools here or health facilities that anybody is satisfied with. Nobody is interested in improving the conditions.”

Naseebullah Khan Durrani, CB Officer PMDC is of the opinion that Chief Justice should take Suo Moto action against all such incidents, “We appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take Suo Moto action against all incidents that have happened in the mines and get the inquiry done.”

The misery of the labors, however, doesn’t end here. The houses these laborers live in are as dangerous as the mines they work in which, at time of any natural calamity, shall prove to be fatal.

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