Safety sought for coalmine workers

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SHANGLA: Coalmine workers rights activists in Shangla blocked the Bisham-Swat road in Alpuri chowk on Monday protesting against mines tragic incidents where hundreds of Shangla workers have lost their lives which they termed negligence of the mines authorities.
The protest was called by Pakistan Central Mines labour federation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter to celebrate the mines worker’s health and safety day.
Earlier staging protest, they took out a rally Alpuri bazaar and marched through different streets of the district headquarters while carrying banners and placards inscribed with demands of safety, compensation, working folk school and other facilities for mine workers and their families, also chanted slogans against mines inspectors, owners and contractors.
While addressing at the protesters, the PCMLF Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s vice president Ali Bhash Khan, said that Shangla is an unfortunate district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where about 70 percent men including teenagers work as labour inside the hundreds deep coalmines and their parents often receive their loved ones dead bodies dies in mines incidents.
He claimed, most of the mines incidents are occurred due to negligence of mines inspectors because they send workers inside the dilapidated condition mines and there are hundreds of illegal mines which have been reported unsafe for excavation but still they are running.
“Our first demand of the government is to immediately close illegal mines and the second demand is that government ensure safety at workplace as well as provide their due rights,” the PCMLF KP office bearer, said.
Abid Yaar, said, there are hundreds of crippled in the district handicapped in mines incidents and they are unable to feed their families, therefore government should approve a stipend for them and also for orphans of mine workers died in the mines incidents.
He demanded of the government to implementation of ILO convention-176 act for the workers safety at mines and punishment of responsible authorities.
Gulab Shahpuri, demanded of the government to create jobs and business opportunities for the local people of Shangla, so that they could make their meet ends.
The protesters peacefully dispersed and the road remained block for an hour for all sorts of traffic.

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