Asking the Odisha government to submit a report on the fire and explosion at Bhushan Steel Limited’s (BSL) plant at Meramundali in Dhenkanal district, the Centre on Tuesday sent officials to inquire into the accident in which one person was killed and 19 others injured on November 13.

“I have asked the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner posted in Odisha to visit the accident spot and inquire what actually happened there and whether labour laws have been violated by the company,” the Union Minister of State for Labour, K Suresh, told reporters here.

Stating that the Odisha government’s Labour Commissioner was to submit a report on the accident during the day, Suresh said the Centre was keeping a watch on the developments taking place at BSL’s plant.

“We are told that labour laws have been grossly violated by the company authorities. If that is true, then stringent action will be taken against them,” Suresh said.

Stating that the Centre did not want to intervene in the matter as it was under jurisdiction of the state government, he said “Had the Centre intervened from day one, it could have been a dispute between the Centre and the state.”

Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner, K D Achari, said “We are keeping a close watch. I am in contact with the Dhenkanal district collector and the local labour officer. After the Minister’s direction, I will visit the accident site.”

Union Minister Srikant Jena also expressed concern over accidents at BSL plant and blamed the state government for the death of a worker and injury of 19 others. “BSL has been getting undue advantage from the state government,” Jena alleged.

(This article was published on November 19, 2013)
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