Bhubaneswar, Jan. 18: Workers at the Tata Steel plant complex in Jajpur today ransacked the security cabin and set three vehicles afire following the death of a casual labourer in a mishap.
The situation came under control and construction resumed after intervention of the district administration. Heavy police deployments have been made in and around the plant.
Local people said a trailer hit Baruna Sethy, 28, a contractual worker, while he was going on a bicycle to join duty around 8.15am. Sethy died on the spot. As soon as the news spread, workers gathered at the site and stormed the security cabin. They also set the trailer and two vehicles on fire and damaged the plant’s main gate.
Construction came to a halt for a few hours after the mishap. Jajpur superintendent of police Deepak Kumar said: “There was tension on the plant premises after the death of the worker. Situation has been brought under control. Four platoons of force have been deployed at the spot.”
Sukinda tehsildar Manas Ranjan Samal, who initiated a negotiation with the workers and management, said: “A compensation of Rs 8 lakh will be paid to the deceased’s family and a job will be provided to one of the family members. Besides, Rs 1 lakh was given to meet the funeral expenses.”
Officials of the State Factories and Boilers Directorate refused to comment on the incident. “As the plant is under construction, we have nothing to do with the mishap. We can extend our authority only after the factory becomes operational,” said deputy director of the factories and boilers Kamalendu Mohapatra. Tata Steel officials also did not comment on the incident.
Tata Steel had signed an MoU with the state government on November 17, 2004, to set up a Rs 15,600 crore six million tonnes steel plant at Kalinga Nagar. However, the project remained a non-starter for years following the police firing on January 2, 2006, in which 14 tribal people were killed.
The construction in now on and Phase-I of the plant is expected to be commissioned next year.
In another incident, one Krushna Chandra Barik, a worker of the Bhusan Steel Plant in Dhenkanal district, got hurt after he fell off a staircase in an iron ore bunker in Phase-II of the plant this morning. The plant is in news since as six accidents have been reported so far this month, which have claimed six lives.
Assistant director of the factories and boilers Ramesh Behera and the senior manager of the Bhusan Steel Plant Suvanker Tripathy dismissed the mishap as a “minor” one. Behera said the injured worker was discharged from hospital after treatment.
In yet another development, the death roll in the cylinder blast that occurred on January 6 rose to five as one more victim died at a Cuttack hospital.
Recently, labour minister Bijoyshree Routray had sought details of the mishaps from the plant authorities.