Chief secy gets show cause notice

Why didnt silicosis victims get aid: NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued a show cause notice to Delhi chief secretary P K Tripathi, asking him to explain why some victims of silicosis were not given monetary relief. He has been given six weeks to respond.

According to the Commission, it has been established prima facie that the city government failed to protect 21 mine workers from the occupational disease, caused due to inhaling silica. NHRC said it was a case of violation of human rights.

The Commission was earlier approached by non-governmental organisation PRASAR with a list of 44 unorganised sector workers who were allegedly suffering from the disease.

Delhi government first denied that there was any case of silicosis. But a report submitted by a committee comprising Dr K S Bhagotia, directorate of health services and Dr Neeraj Gupta, certifying surgeon, labour department confirmed that 21 of the 44 workers - working in the mines of Delhi’s Lal Kuan area - showed evidence of silicosis or silico tuberculosis.

A report from Lala Ram Swarup Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease also found evidence of silicosis. On the basis of these reports the commission issued a notice to the city government.

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