Khaleej Times – Rs500,000 for kin of Alang blast victims

(Written by Mahesh Trivedi)

Access the original article

9 July 2014 - The Gujarat government will pay Rs 500,000 as well as lifetime pension to the families of the five people killed recently in a powerful blast at the Alang ship-breaking yard near Bhavangar, 170km Ahmedabad.

A three-member committee has also been formed to investigate the June 28 incident in which five of the 20-odd workers dismantling an old chemical tanker were killed in the explosion sparked by gas leakage.

Ten others also were injured at Asia’s largest ship recycling yard where some 250 obsolete vessels are dismantled every year using gas cutters. Over 1,000 ships have been scrapped in at Alang in the last three years.

The Gujarat High Court, meanwhile, has given two weeks’ time for replies from the Centre and the state government in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking measures for ensuring labourers’ safety and coastal security at Alang, also known as the graveyard of ships.

The PIL, filed by Bhavnagar resident Pradeepsinh Gohil, claims that workers of the famous ship-breaking industry at Alang lack housing, health and sanitation facilities that are guaranteed under the labour laws.