Gujarat High Court protects ship yard labourers, provides them housing, medical care


The Gujarat High court has formed a four-member committee to ensure basic amenities like housing and hospital for labourers at Alang ship-breaking yard in Bhavnagar district following a public interest litigation.

The committee will comprise secretary of state Health department as chairman, district collector of Bhavnagar, deputy general manager of Gujarat Maritime Board and a representative of Ship Recycling Industries Association (India), said the High Court in an order passed on July 16.

“The committee is directed to examine the aspect of starting of the hospital at the earliest by Maritime Board itself or through ESIC (Employee’s State Insurance Corporation),” said a division bench of justices Jayant Patel and R H Shukla.

The court also sought a report with regard to construction and allotment of 1,000 housing units for labourers. The committee can take help of any government agency and should submit the report by August 5, the judges said.

The PIL, filed by Bhavnagar resident Pradeepsinh Gohil, states that the labourers at Alang ship-breaking yard lack facilities like proper residential accommodation, hospitals for emergency medical treatment and sanitation facilities, which are guaranteed under the labour laws.

“Thousands of labourers are living in slums with little or no sanitation facility. Workers die or sustain severe injuries owing to explosions, fire, falling steel plates, gas leakage, inadequate safety measures during cutting or by suffocation,” the petition alleges.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

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