Bhushan Steel a death trap: Jayadev Jena

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jayadev Jena on Monday alleged that the Bhushan Steel plant at Meramundali in Dhenkanal district has become a death trap which so far has claimed as many as 118 lives since its inception.
“The Bhushan Steel authorities have thrown all norms to the wind and the plant has become a death trap. Putting together all the reported figures, the unit has so far claimed lives of 118 workers. Why the state government is silent and not taking any action against the plant authorities, even if the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) clearly stated that the company established the power plant clandestinely and then applied for the board’s consent,” asked Jena.
Addressing a press conference here, the OPCC president accused the state government of being in a "state of slumber" even after the November 13 mishap at the blast furnace-II of the plant that claimed two lives and left 19 others injured.
The Opposition Congress which recently suffered a huge set back in the Western Odisha civic polls by managing to secure majority only in one out of 20 urban local bodies (ULBs), also warned the ruling BJD to raise the issue in the ensuing General election.
“We’ll definitely raise the issue in the forthcoming election and let voters know the lackadaisical attitude of the state government in taking stern action against the erring Bhushan authorities,” he warned.
However, refuting the charges levelled by Jena, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) vice president Damodar Rout said, “The state government has not taken any violation by the company lightly and instituted 70-odd cases against it. Besides, criminal charges have also been slapped against the company.”
On the other hand, BSL has said that the company is taking steps to ensure complete safety of its workers.
“We are taking efforts on safety of our workers. Our total effort will be that accident does not happen again in future. We are educating our employees on safety measures,” Bhushan Steel Executive Director Ashok Kumar Raina told OTV.
A delegation of CPI, CPM, Forward Bloc and Samajwadi Party on Monday met Odisha Governor SC Jamir and demanded judicial inquiry into all the accidents that have occurred at Bhushan Steel’s Meramundali unit since its inception. The state leaders also demanded jobs and Rs 20 lakh compensation for kin of all the deceased.