Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 17:
The Odisha government has informed the Odisha High Court that the Bhushan Steel Ltd at Kantabania in Dhenkanal district had violated the Factory Act 69 times prior to the blast furnace explosion inside its plant on November 13 last year.
“Due to violation of the Factory Act, cases have been filed against the company in the Dhenkanal SDJM court. Besides, the company has been served show cause notices 18 times for not adhering to the safety measures,”, said the affidavit filed by the chief secretary, principal secretary, Labour and Welfare, director, Factories and Boilers and district Labour and Employment department on behalf of the state government, in the Odisha High Court on Thursday.
Refuting the contention of the Nationalist Lawyers’ Forum and other petitioners that the state government has not taken proper action against the steel company, the affidavit said the state government has given top priority on the strict adherence to safety measures inside the plant premises.
The officials of the directorate of Factories and Boilers have visited the plant 509 times and inspected safety measures by the plant authorities.
The affidavit further said that apart from 69 cases filed against the company before the blast furnace mishap, 111 cases have been registered after the mishap.
Referring to the steps taken by the state government after the blast furnace mishap, the affidavit said the concerned officials had rushed to the plant and sealed its blast furnace unit soon after the mishap took place.
The affidavit also maintained that the state government, so far, has taken all legal measures against the plant authorities.
The petitioners had alleged that while a total of 94 workers have died in a series of mishaps inside the plant since the day of its commissioning, the state government has taken no action as a result of which the company officials have been running the plant for years in gross violation of labour and forest laws and other safety measures laid down by the government.