Bundi medical dept contradict report on silicosis deaths

5 Mar 2017

The Bundi district medical department has contradicted the data provided by the Rajasthan mining department on deaths from silicosis and claimed that 20 persons died from the disease in the district in the last three years.
In a mining department report submitted in the Assembly on a query from Kota MLA Sandeep Sharma, the deaths from silicosis in Bundi was stated to be four while 66 others have been identified as silicosis patients.
In Kota district, the mining department makes a nil report on silicosis patients and deaths in Kota district.
The data is found to be contrary to the ground level report by district medical officials.
The district medical department of Bundi confirmed that the silicosis death toll to be 20 in last three years while putting the total number of silicosis patients at 121.
"At least 121 patients have in last three years been identified as suffering from silicosis and 20 of them have died so far in Bundi district," said Dr Devendra Kumar Mathur, district TB officer.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Gujjar, district coordinator, Khan Majdur Surakesha Abhiyan, an NGO working in mining areas of Bundi district said 32 silicosis patients in Dabi mining areas of Bundi district have died between 2013 and 2017 and 250 other labourers in are currently suffering from the fatal disease in the district.
Family members of five of the silicosis deceased have been granted the compensation amount so far, he said.
He alleged that no safety and security measures are being taken up for the labourers in operative mines in the area.
"Only a countable labourers can been seen working with dust masks and wet drilling while rest of the labourers have been left exposed to hazardous threats to diseases," he said.
The routine health camps in the area have also reduced to formality as they are not organised amid the target groups, he added.
Kota district TB officer, Dr R C Meena, when contacted, confirmed silicosis patients in Kota district against zero report by mining department in state assembly.
"The number of silicosis patients has come down in recent years but I cannot right now confirm the number of deaths and silicosis patients in Kota district," he said.
In around 500 mines in Dabi, Budhpura Dhaneshewar areas of Bundi district, over 20,000 labourers are engaged in mining operations, most of them without any safety and security measures.
"A 20-25 years old youth can most unfortunately be noticed decaying into old with skeleton like structure," observed an NGO worker of the region.
The state government on the death of a silicosis patient awards a compensation of Rs three lakh to the family of the deceased and a financial aid of Rs one lakh to silicosis patient.
The state government in last three years have awarded total financial aid of Rs 16.89 crore but no significant measures were taken up for safe and security of mining labourers so far.