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Chennai: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday slammed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) for negligence that resulted in six workers being injured in 2014.
The commission said an enquiry report by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) pointed out deficiencies in the safety standards at the KNPP unit where the accident occurred.
The NHRC also ensured that NPCIL paid Rs 50,000 each as relief to the 6 workers who were injured due to lack of safety measures during maintenance work at a KNPP unit. It observed that the nature of the work carried out in nuclear power projects does not allow any laxity on the part of the authorities.
“Owing to such negligence, six workers of the project have suffered burn injuries ranging from 60 to 70% resulting in physical pain, mental agony and trauma to them and their families,” the commission said.
Stating that this cannot be adequately compensated through bearing the cost of treatment or paying wages for the period of absence from duty, the NHRC said, “There was clear violation of human rights of the injured employees and they should be adequately compensated for it.”
The NHRC stated that in response to the commission’s notices, the Chairman and Managing Director, the NPCIL, and the District Collector, Tirunelveli, confirmed the incident and informed the commission that all the injured persons, including 1 supervisor, 2 technicians and 3 contract workers, suffered 60-70% burns.
Citing the AERB report, the rights commission said the persons working were not wearing personal protective gear as required except safety helmet and shoes. “The report pointed fingers towards negligence on the part of the KNPP and the NPCIL and suggested that the incident could have been avoided had the guidelines under maintenance manual were followed,” it said.