Monday, April 19, 2021

Power Department abandoning daily wagers after accidents
JammuExpress. Dated: 10/16/2020 10:08:04 AM


Govt. fails to announce any insurance, compensation policy, handicapped casual labourers struggling to survive



Jammu, September 29:

Even after unbundling and re-organisation of Power Development Department (PDD)-divided into two separate power companies for Jammu region and Kashmir Valley, government has failed to come up with a concrete policy for the handicapped daily wagers who lost their lives or limbs while serving the department.

Daily Wagers who have either died or become handicapped while serving the power department but they have been abandoned by the government.

Post abrogation of Article 370, casual and daily rate workers continue to seek implementation of minimum wages act and speeding up regularisation of their services.

For Sham Lal, summer of 2012 changed his life forever, he not only lost his both hands due to severe electric shock but since then every day is struggle to arrange two square meals for his family.

Engaged as casual labourer by Power Development Department (PDD), Lal while repairing a High Tension (HT) cable at Gangyal met with an accident, when an employee forget to snap power supply.

“After accident, my wife was engaged as casual worker. But we did not receive wages for months and years at end. When the Covid-19 pandemic erupted we got wages after two years. Govt should come up with some policy for people like me”, said Sham Lal.

With no source of income, his children (a daughter and two minor sons) quit schooling and wife works as domestic help to sustain family.

While governments lavishly spend on advertisement campaigns and gala official functions, but as per data provided by Union members more than 60 workers who have lost their lives and limbs but forgotten by ‘corrupt administrative machinery’ in J&K.

Mohammad from Mandi area of Poonch lost his right hand while carrying out repair work in 2015 but since then he has been left to fend on his own by officials.

“A lineman told me to repair a fault in transformer. Not a penny was given to me for last three years. Officials took away my documents but no compensation has been provided”, said Rafiq.

Surprisingly at times department does not discontinue services of workers after accidents. They engage family member as labourer, but no provision is made to ensure regular salaries to atleast families of handicapped workers knowing fully they have no other source of income.

“Most unfortunate part is PDD ditches them. There is no follow up to stand by the families. Whenever, there is any accident, officials try to hush up the issue”, said Akshay Sharma, senior leader, All J&K Need Based Workers Union.

Despite thousands of Daily Wagers and Casual Workers engaged by PDD to carry out high rick maintenance works, successive government have ignored to bring rehabilitation policy for non-permanent workers.

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