External committee begin investigating Durgapur steel mishap

agitating-dsp-trainee
Section of the agitating DSP Trainees holding placards during SAIL Chairman visit at the Mission Hospital in Durgapur

Durgapur News Service, 16 May 2015: The four-member High Power Committee constituted by the SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) Chairman Mr. C S Verma comprising of senior SAIL officials from plants other than the Durgapur Steel Plant has begun investigation from yesterday. Considering the uproar at the DSP unit of SAIL, Chairman Mr. Verma had rushed to Durgapur on 13 May.

Chairman at first inspected the mishap site at the Bloom Caster of CCP and then went to the Mission Hospital in Durgapur to meet the mishap victims. Reportedly, he lashed out at the senior officials and scolded some managerial staff.

agitating-dsp-trainee
Section of the agitating DSP Trainees holding placards during SAIL Chairman visit at the Mission Hospital in Durgapur

Dismissing the two-member fact-finding committee set up by DSP management, Mr. Verma set up the new inquiry committee comprising of Mr Arupan Banerjee, ED (Works) of Bokaro Steel Plant, Mr Sanjib Taneja, GM (Operation) from SAIL Corporate Office, Mr R K Rathi, ED (Works) of IISCO Steel Plant in Burnpur and Mr P K Polle, GM, Mecon, Durgapur. Moreover, Mr Verma while leaving for Delhi on 14 May night also ordered the suspension of the GM (Safety), DSP, Mr Amit Biswas and DGM (In-Charge, CCP), Mr P Kumar saying that they cannot evade primary responsibility, DSP sources said.

Meanwhile, the father of Deepak Dalui – the 19 year-old trainee and one of the three victims of 11 May’s mishap at the Bloom Caster of CCP (Continuous casting Plant) though took possession of the dead body of his son on 14 May after assurances from SAIL chairman, but said that he will not accept the 9 lakh compensation cheque from DSP management. Mr Subhas Dalui, father of deceased Dipak Dolui withstand his demand for job as a part of the compensation.

About 150 Trainees of Durgapur Steel Plant had been agitating since the mishap occurred on 11 May claiming adequate and proper compensation for their friend Dipak Dolui. DSP authority surprisingly have been saying that dependents of a trainee will not get benefits as he was yet to be regularised on the pay roll.

The trainees alleged: “We are trainees, but we are forced to work as regular workers. We are illegally assigned to work in hazard-prone areas alongside regular workers. But unfortunately and rather strangely after the incident the DSP authorities are trying to escape from paying compensation for the death saying that the dependents of a trainee will not get benefits as he was yet to be regularised on the pay roll.”

Central trade unions like the CITU and the INTUC have taken a stance in favour of the agitating trainees.

When chairman visited the Mission Hospital to see the victims, the trainees were seen holding placards demanding justice and adequate compensation for Dipak Dolui. According to insider’s report, chairman held meeting with the representatives of the Trainee’s and assured that he will do his utmost to give the best possible compensation for Dipak’s family including a job for one of the family members.

Meanwhile, Rohit Kumar, the only surviving employee among the three who were severely burnt when hot liquid metal splashed from a ladle and spilled on them on 11 May at about 12:10 pm, is still fighting for life at the hospital. His condition is far from being stable as far as the latest available report.

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