Report by correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Committee
A tunnel under construction at Silkyara in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi collapsed on Sunday, 12th November, trapping 40 workers inside. The tunnel construction project was being executed by a private company called the Navyuga Engineering Company Limited.
On 15th November, the fourth day since the accident occurred, fellow workers of those who remained trapped inside the tunnel staged a protest at the site. They raised slogans against the government authorities for not doing enough to bring out the 40 workers trapped in the tunnel.
One of the workers is reported to have said, “They are just bringing new machines, not doing anything concrete. They are not allowing us to go inside and speak to the trapped workers. They are keeping the exact information hidden from us.” (Hindustan Times, 16th November, 2023).
As the protestors raised slogans against the authorities, police and officials of the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited tried to pacify them. They had to admit that the machine that had been used to dig through the debris was not in good condition and a new machine had now been brought from Delhi.
This incident once again shows the dangerous conditions in which workers are made to function in our country. It exposes the lack of adequate safety measures. It reflects the callous attitude of the ruling bourgeois class and the officers in their service, who regard workers not as human beings but as objects to be exploited for maximum capitalist profits.