PEDDAPALLY: The families of the daily wage labourers who were killed in the Ramagundam opencast mine blast mishap on Tuesday, demanded on Wednesday that those responsible for the accidental explosion should be immediately suspended. They also demanded that an ex-gratia of Rs one crore each to the families of the deceased should be extended, just the same way Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had done in the case of LG Polymers plant gas leak accident in Visakhapatnam recently.
The families of the mine blast victims also wanted that one from every affected family should be provided with a job opportunity. Insisting that their demands be first met, the families refused to receive the bodies of the deceased in the incident. Four labourers were killed in the accidental explosion that took place in the Open Cast Project-1 (OCP-1) mine under the RG-3 division of the Ramagundam region controlled by the Singareni Collieries Company Limited on Tuesday.
The deceased were identified as Billa Rajesam (46) of Kamanpur, Rakesh Rajanna Belkivar (27) and Bandari Praveen (37) of Godavari Khani and Bandi Arjaiah (48) of Kamanpur. Three other workers sustained grievous injuries in the incident. The explosion took place when the workers were setting up explosive material to carry out controlled blasting in OPC-1. Controlled blasting is a routine exercise in mining and used to smash huge boulders that hinder the mining activity.
The contractor of the works being taken up in OPC-1 is under scanner now for ‘negligence’ as the families of the victims squarely blamed him for failing to take adequate safety measures in setting up the explosive material.
The families of the victims are unrelenting in their agitation for justice even as the talks between the Singareni Collieries authorities and the trade unions over the issue of compensation remain inconclusive. The contractor is reported to be willing to pay a compensation of upto Rs 30 lakhs to the kin of the each blast victim. However, the families of the victims and trade unions are insisting on a compensation of Rs 1 crore each besides job opportunity to one member of each affected family.