ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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WEST BENGAL-A Tale of Two Ports

 General of Mines Safety had on several occasions declared them unsafe. It is strange that the DSIDC, unmindful of this warning has been working them; equally strange, that the DGMS has not taken any action against the DSIDC. It is worth quoting what the official of the DGMS told the reporter in August 1980: "The DSIDC has knowingly contravened the orders prohibiting miining in this area. One reason for this is the fact that for the DSIDC this means money without having to do any work". The words of the officer of these mines also are equally interesting. "What can we do? We find that mining is carried on in dangerous conditions. We ask the contractors not to carry on the work, but they do not listen/' Astounding words I Sharing the loot is more important than a man's life, if the man happens to be poor. So crushing is poverty that even if the mines are unsafe, there will be men ready to work in them. "As we go in we are not sure that we will come out alive", says a worker. Another says "we know that the mines are not safe, but we have to earn our living and take what we are paid''' Once having got his workers, the contractor does not allow them to leave; and even if they have to be allowed to go for a short term, they have to leave behind as hostages a couple of members of their families. The contractors know that these man would never ask for helmets, footwear and other safety requirements. They would work without being given proper quarters, drinking water, electricity, fixed hours of work, holidays, medical facilities or even a fixed minimum wage, if they die in any mining accident, one need not bother about paying compensation.

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