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Caution: Men at work but without safety gears

Monitor News Bureau





Srinagar, Jan 05: The workers at the construction sites in the valley could be seen playing with death every day, as a majority of them work without proper safety gears.
Helmets have been replaced by winter caps, sweaters are considered site uniforms to go with torn gloves and boots.
“You see there?” said a labourer Tariq Ahmad Lone, pointing out at the bricks kept on the second floor of an under-construction building.
“God forbid brother, if those bricks fall down, I can’t even imagine the way we will be injured,” Lone said.
Lone works at the construction site just at the entrance of the Department of Tourism’s office.
“If we die, great. Worse is we can get paralysed for life,” Lone added.
Right then, another worker at the site, Shanwaz Ahmad, came down in pain and handed over Rs 10 to Lone, asking him to get a band-aid from a nearby shop.
A minor cut had left Ahmad’s middle finger bleeding, reason being the torn gloves which were of no use.
Asked as to why no proper gloves were provided, Ahmad said, “Who told you these gloves were provided to us? No, we on our own bought these. No safety gears have been given to any of us.”
“These boots too,” he added, showing his ripped shoes which must have been endlessly stitched by a number of cobblers.
Not just these workers are exposed to life-threatening conditions at work, but are also a victim of the callous attitude of the authorities at the construction site.
Javid Gojjr, a 23-year-old helper at the construction site of the grade separator near TRC, shared how he along with his colleagues “feared” the authorities.
“We work here from 9am to 5pm, and that’s because the days are shorter. In summers, we are even asked to work for 12 hours straight. Really unfair, keeping in mind the wages we get,” he said.
Gojjr refused to disclose his earnings.
However, as per other workers at the construction sites near TRC, they, on an average, earn Rs 400 per day, including food and travel.
Site Engineer for the grade separator, Aijaz Ahmad, blamed the labourers.
As per him, the workers are “frequently asked” about their whereabouts and needs.
Talking about the lack of safety gears, he said, “These workers themselves don’t like wearing gears, especially helmets. They give silly excuses. However, I assure you, everyone will be provided basic gears within a week, and anyone refusing to take it will be fired.”
Just two days back, a worker at RAMKY construction site had to lose his life due to non-availability of safety gears.
His colleague, Shahid Wani had taken the issue to the twitter, where he wrote, “He lost his life today on site of RAMKY due to non-availability of safety measures. No safety belt while falling. Blacklist the company immediately. They cannot play with innocent lives. @MehboobaMufti @HaseebDrabu @JKLawmin @parawahid.”
To which Minister for Labour & Employment, Haseeb Drabu, tweeted back.
“No words can console, no compensation enough. Will ensure safety on sites & get safety audit done. Company won’t get away with this,” he wrote.
As per the data, between 2013 and 2016, a total of 1,092 deaths and 377 injuries have occurred while working at the construction all across the India.
The reports say that the workers are mostly men in the most productive age group of 18 to 45 years and either have parents or young children as dependants.
Talking to The Kashmir Monitor, Drabu said he was planning strict actions to ensure the safety of the labourers in the state.
“I have the overall picture, and I am going to look into the matter. I am planning to launch an Accidental Health Disability Insurance Scheme for the labourers. Also, making the safety gears mandatory is as well a part of my vision,” he assured.


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Metropolitan Project: Over 94 lakh kanals identified in JK

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, Jul 18: Over 94 lakh kanals of land has been identified across Jammu and Kashmir for developing the state under the ambitious Metropolitan Region Development Authorities (MRDA) project.

Under the project, two Metropolitan Region Development Authorities will reduce the deficit on infrastructure – water supply, roads, sewage, drainage, light rails, e-buses and other amenities.

“The authorities will also develop satellite townships in Greater Jammu and Greater Srinagar. Million square feet IT parks will also be developed in these townships,” the document reads.


Governor Satya Pal Malik-led administration recently announced creation of Jammu Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority — to provide an integrative framework for the purpose of planned development of these regions.

As per the details, the government has identified 94,22,465 kanals of land in 2559 villages of 14 districts in the state.

In Kashmir, 1452 villages comprising of 4989304 kanals of land would be covered under MRDA.

In Srinagar district, 124 villages comprising 514116 kanals of land would be covered. In Pulwama, 922715 kanals of land in 240 villages have been identified for implementation of project under MRDA.

Similarly, 331799, 1049195, 451400, 142461 kanals of land would be covered in Kulgam, Baramulla, Shopian, and Bandipora districts respectively.

Around 44,33,161 kanals of land would be covered in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur under MRDA.

The MRDAs, as per the document, have been selected on the principles of regional planning and development.

An official of Housing and Urban Development Department said a process has begun for acquisition of land for the project.

“All types of land are being covered under MRDAs. Besides government land, we have also identified private land which ought to be acquired. But some land owners are not willing to provide land saying that government is not paying them commensurate to market value,” the official said.

He said the land owners want promulgation of an ordinance to replace old law “which will enable them fair compensation during acquisition”.

Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta said that all types of land were being covered under MRDAs. “We will acquire private land wherever needed,” Gupta added.

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Lead Stories

India to Pak: Release, repatriate Jadhav immediately




New Delhi, Jul 18: Describing the detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan as “illegal” and under “fabricated” charges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.

Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, he said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.


Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.

The bench also ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest.

Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, the judges had said.

Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, Judge Yusuf had ruled.

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Lead Stories

Jadhav guilty of crimes against people: Imran




Islamabad, Jul 18: Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan Thursday said that he appreciated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to “not to acquit, release & return” Kulbhushan Jadhav, day after the world court in The Hague directed Pakistan to review the death penalty given to the former Indian Navy commander.

Holding Jadhav responsible for “crime against” Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law.

“Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release & return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law,” Imran tweeted.


On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav.

The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav “without further delay”, in a verdict that was hailed in India as a “big victory” for the country. It agreed with India’s stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying access.

In a reprieve for Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017, a 16-member bench by a 15:1 vote continued the stay on the execution.

A Chinese judge was part of the majority verdict while the ad hoc judge from Pakistan on the bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia gave a dissenting opinion.

Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the verdict, saying “truth and justice” have prevailed while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj described it as a “big victory” for India.

Despite the order backing India, Pakistan claimed victory. The country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: “Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.” Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan on 3 March, 2016, by Pakistani security agencies and was convicted of being a spy. In April 2017, Pakistan had announced that Jadhav was given death sentence by a military court.

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