According to the sources, a welder died due to breakout of fire inside the vertical tunnel around 8 meters bellow the ground where he was doing the work of welding. The sources have informed that the deceased Saharul Shaikh (29) was carrying out a welding work underground around 8 meters deep in one of the bridge pillars coming up near Divja Circle when the sudden fire broke out causing severe injuries to him. The sources have sad that he died due to no sufficient safety measures at the construction site.
This is the fact that the construction of New Mandovi Bridge is going on in most haphazard manner and there are no safety measures maintained in the interest of the workers, said one of the sources connected to the construction site. This accident is said to be the result of the same. According to the sources, All the laborers and workers at the new Mandovi bridge construction site blamed their bosses for the death of the Kolkata-based welder who was burnt to death, while officials of the construction agency Larsen &Tubro said it was an error on the part of the workmen.
According to the report published in the local Daily Herald the site laborers told the herald news reporters that, the accident took place due to complete negligence of the senior officials who had failed to provide the proper safety equipment to the laborers working on the project.
According to them, there is need of a compressor in the tunnel when workmen are below a certain level of the ground which was not made available in spite of repeated requests to senior officials. The laborers also said that for the entire project there is only one such compressor is available which is rotated at all the place where underground work is on. “It is not a mistake of the worker, it is a mistake of our bosses (hamari galti kuch nahi, yeh to sab sahab logo ki galti hai),” a laborer told Herald on Tuesday.
Meanwhile the senior officer attached to L&T Admin Mr. Javed told the news reporters that, it is not the mistake of the company and he refused the allegations of labourers saying that, “If there was compressor in the tunnel when accident took place, itcould have worsened the situation as there were two workers in the tunnel and both could have lost their lives.” Although he refrained from speaking further and answering other queries suggesting that the talk continues in his cabin with a technical expert on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Labour Minister Avertino Furtado told the news reporters that, he has ordered the inquiry in this incident through labour commissioner and assured a thorough investigation into the matter. According to the sources, the Inspectorate of Factories and Boilers Chief Inspector Vivek Marathe said that, if according to them (company officials) the situation would have worsened by making the use of compressor then at least a Self Contained Breathing Aspirator (SCBA) should have been in place for the workers going below the ground level.
However, he added that the accident and safety measures do not come under his jurisdiction but slammed the Labour Department for not effectively implementing the Building and Other Construction Work Act which had come into force in 1996. “The same Act has not been implemented aggressively, not been given prime status and not provided with infrastructure,” Marathe said. The act has been implemented by the Labour Commissioner but there are no technical people in the department, he added.
On Monday evening Sharula Shaikh who was working as a welder on the site suffered 90 percent burn injuries when working eight meters below the ground in a vertical tunnel of the under construction bridge pillar. Shaikh is survived by his elderly mother, wife and two children in Kolkata.