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01 Sep 2010

109 workers have died so far in the construction sites of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), according to an affidavit submitted by Metro authorities to PUDR.

The list of figures were released today in the hearing on the public interest litigation filed in the Delhi High Court by PUDR on worker’s conditions.

This is the first time that exact figures of accidents happening at work sites have been provided by an agency. The fatalities listed by the DMRC date from 2003 to present. The expansion of Metro construction projects coincides with India’s appeal for the Commonwealth Games.

The statistics are in direct contradiction with the Labour Department’s consistently quoted figure of 45 deaths for the entire Commonwealth Games. It suggests that there is no transparency or concern between departments and agencies on matters regarding workers’ welfare.

The data related to compensation highlights a discrepancy between the sums given to families, with figures ranging from 1.5 lakhs to 9 lakhs. This calls for further investigation, and a more comprehensive listing from other agencies of accidents at different worksites.

The court case continues.

Moushumi Basu and Asish Gupta