The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday issued notice to the Jharkhand government over not compensating the next of the kin of 22 workers who died of suspected silicosis.
The notice was issued in the wake of enforcement agencies not taking proper steps in eradicating silicosis which resulted in the death of these workers.
Silicosis, a disease of lungs caused by the inhalation of dust containing silica, is prevalent among labourers working in mines and quarries.
"We have asked Jharkhand's chief secretary to respond in eight weeks time and submit a report on the action taken regarding medical treatment and rehabilitation of workers who are suffering from silicosis," said an NHRC official in a statement.
In his letter to the commission June 4, complainant Samit Kumar said that 22 people died of Silicosis and their death was certified by chest specialist from International Labour Organisation and World Health Organisation.
According to the complainant, these workers were working in K.K. Minerals which did not have a no objection certificate from the state pollution control board. The company was later shut down for not having the permission.
On May 18, 2011, Jharkhand's chief secretary received a report from deputy secretary of Jamshedpur stating that a team of doctors constituted under the district mining officer found six people suffering from pneumoconiosis, a lung disease caused by inhalation of dust in mines.
The chief secretary June 22, 2011 told the commission that there was no certified surgeon available in the state for the diagnosis of silicosis.
"The complainant Samit Kumar has also been asked to submit a list of silicosis affected workers to the commission and to the office of the chief secretary, within four weeks," said the statement.