0.3 mln coal miners working in Balochistan sans basic health facilities’

ISLAMABAD, May 31 (APP): President of All Pakistan Labour Federation Sultan Muhammad Khan Monday said around 0.3 million coal mine labourers were working in Balochistan without basic health facilities, facing registration issues, and absence of safety standards at their workplaces.

“Around 300,000 labourers are employed across the province as each coal mining site in the province consists of more than 1,000 mines, including Chamalang, Luni, Harnai, Mach, Duki, Marwar and Sowrange,” Sultan Muhammad said in a statement.

He said most of the labourers working in the field were enduring dangerous diseases, including kidney, asthma and liver problems.

The registration of labourers was the main issue, he said and urged the government to take steps for early registration of miners working in Balochistan.

He said the coal mine workers excavated thousands of feet beneath the earth, with their lives at stake due to poor safety and monitoring arrangements in place. Moreover, the availability of clean drinking water and presence of health facilities near the mining areas was also a dream for them, he added.

Sultan Muhammad urged the government to implement Occupational Safety and Health Situation (OSHS) to overcome accidents occurred during coal mining.

The main reason of the deaths in the mines was the absence of precautionary measures, he added.

The governments should take the issue more seriously and make efforts to implement the law for overcoming coal mine disasters, he said, adding the authorities should also ensure implementation of Section C-176 of the Labour Law.

He called on the government to establish housing colonies for the labourers, besides provision of the best contemporary education to their children so that they could achieve a respectable status in the society.

The labour leader said the government was collecting a lot of revenue from coal mining, but the mine labourers were being compensated with mere Rs 200,000 of death grant, which should be increased to Rs 500,000 per person along with treatment for the mine accident victims.

Around 15,000 labourers, he said, were working in the Duki and Chamalang Coal field, who extracted 1.6 million tons coal from the aforementioned fields the last year.
The Balochistan government had collected Rs 1.73 billion royalty from the two sites during the last year, he added.

Sultan said around 102 cases of deaths and 148 cases of injuries had been reported during the last year in the province due to negligence of the authorities concerned.

APP Services