The Factory Broke Several Labour Laws
While four workers lost their lives to a fire accident caused due to a blast in the oil pipeline that was passing on top of the workers’ rest rooms at a rubber factory in the Gagan Pahad industrial area of Shamshabad, locals questioned and protested the very presence and existence of the factory.
They pointed out that a government order, GO 111 of the municipal administration department dated 1995 had prohibited any development within 10 km of the catchment areas of Himayatsagar and Osmansagar lakes as part of conservation and protection. All the industries in the vicinity were required to relocate themselves. “The factory does not have NOC from fire or police department. They do not follow minimum wages or minimum time of work. Workers are basically migrants and no benefits or allowances are provided to them. And most importantly, GO-111 requires them to relocate from this locality,” said Naresh Nenavath, a journalism student in the neighbourhood.
Eighteen years since the issue of GO-111, authorities say, the process of relocation of industries is still in progress. Sanjay Kumar, member secretary of the AP Pollution Control Board, said, “Government had constituted a steering committee to look into the relocation of industries . The decision was reviewed by Lok Ayukta and AP High Court. AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation was to identify three different locations for industrial estates and provide necessary infrastructure.” He further added that the AP Lok Ayukha had directed them not to relocate the industries unless the infrastructure was ready. “Notices were issued to the industries to shift back then. We are on the job and very soon we will be shifting all the industries,” said the member secretary.
On the other hand, the directorate of factories officials found faults on the part of the management of the Akshitha Rubber Factory for having set up workers’ resting rooms below the pipeline supplying hot oil.