Balco mishap: Staff of Chinese firm flee

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by 1.44, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Balco mishap: Staff of Chinese firm flee

    SEPCO of China, which was building the chimney that collapsed at Vedanta Group’s Balco power plant here on Wednesday, has downed the shutters at its local office in Korba.

    Korba collector Ashok Agrawal confirmed: “The staff and contractors involved in the chimney construction have fled the city.”

    The Chinese company, which won the contract in a global bidding, later appointed Delhi-based Gannon Dunkerley Company to build the 240-metre high chimney at the 1,200-MW power plant, about 220 km northeast of state capital Raipur.

    Investigating the cause of the collapse, the state public works department said the contractors had used poor quality materials. “More revealing facts are expected once the investigation begins,” said Agrawal.

    But Balco chief executive officer Gunjan Gupta claimed in a press release that continuous rains and lightning during the past few days were probably responsible for the incident.

    The district administration, however, has arrested Balco’s human resources and industrial relations chiefs Ranjit Lal and BK Bhatia, respectively, for the collapse of the chimney.

    As the death toll kept mounting — 31 in the last count — Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said on Thursday, “No one will be spared for the lapses.”

    Eyewitnesses Shyamlal Ragey and Pusao Ram, workers at the project, said all of the 100 people who were in and around the structure at the time of the accident might have been killed.

    But only a few bodies had been claimed so far, as most of them were from Chhapra district in Bihar and different parts of Jharkhand, said Korba Superintendent of Police Ratanlal Dangi.

    Laxmi Chouhan, who is contesting alleged land encroachment by Balco in the Supreme Court, said the area where the chimney and the power plant were being built was marked for a green belt and botanical garden. Also, a Korba municipal commissioner, JJ Mahobe, said, “We never granted any no-objection certificate to Balco for this project.”

    Balco mishap: Staff of Chinese firm flee- Hindustan Times
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Chinese showing there true colors :D
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/301676_Death-toll-in-Balco-plant-mishap-climbs-to-40


    Death toll in Balco plant mishap climbs to 40


    STAFF WRITER 16:22 HRS IST

    Raipur, Sept 26 (PTI) The death toll today mounted to 40 in Wednesday's chimney collapse at an under-construction power plant of the metal major Balco at Korba in Chhattisgarh.

    Korba Collector Ashok Agrawal said bodies of 40 labourers have been dug out and the operation to clear the debris is expected to continue till tomorrow.

    A 108-member rescue and relief team from Orrisa has reached the site as more workers are still feared trapped in the debris, he said.

    Meanwhile, police have begun questioning the officials of the firm entrusted with the task of setting up the chimney at the power plant, Korba SP Ratanlal Dangi said.
     
  5. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Balco mishap: Contractor may face the heat- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times

    Balco mishap: Contractor may face the heat
    26 Sep 2009, 0408 hrs IST, ET Bureau

    MUMBAI: Even as the mishap at Balco’s aluminium smelter, where 18 people were killed in an accident on Wednesday, is being investigated by the police, legal experts said accountability could be limited mainly to the contractor, as the company’s operations were yet to start.

    The accident occurred when a chimney that was being built by Balco at the Korba site in Chhattisgarh gave way due to bad weather, according to the company’s version of events. It’s learnt that the Korba police is also investigating other factors such as the government clearances for the project and the track record of the sub-contractor, GDCL.

    “Typically, the laws can come into effect only after production has started,” said the senior partner of a legal firm that has worked for Vedanta Resources. “Since the accident happened when the plant was still being built, the accountability would be related to the contractual agreement that the contractor for Balco would have agreed to,” he added.

    The contractor for Balco’s aluminium smelter is China-based Sepco Electric Power Construction Corp, which won the contract to build the Rs 2,800-crore power plant. Sepco had sub-contracted the work to GDCL. According to the contract signed in March 2006, Sepco was to build a coal-based power plant of five units of 135 mw each, in the first phase.

    While Balco has said they have all government approvals for building the chimney, Korba mayor Lakhanlal Dewangan has been reported as saying that the Municipal Corporation had approved for the building of one chimney, while the accident occurred at the site of a second chimney. “The company did not take permission for the second chimney and we had served notices for violating the norms,” said Mr Dewangan.

    A Balco spokesperson said the construction was going on as per the memorandum of understanding signed with the state government and the company had all necessary clearances in place.

    When contacted, a number of lawyers said responsibility in such cases is typically fixed on the contractors. The partner of another leading corporate law firm said Balco would not be held responsible, if natural disaster was really responsible for the accident.

    But the company and its contractor could be held liable, if the enquiry found them guilty of using sub-standard material, which caused the collapse of the chimney, he added.

    In the case of the Delhi Metro bridge collapse, the contractor, Gammon India, was blacklisted for two years, after it was found that the company was negligent in taking precautions.
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Jharkhand | Aid for Balco kin

    Aid for Balco kin

    OUR CORRESPONDENT

    [​IMG]
    The Balco mishap

    Ranchi, Sept. 26: Governor K. Sankarnarayanan today announced Rs 1 lakh ex gratia for the next of kin of labourers, who lost their lives in an accident at Bharat Alumunium Company Limited (Balco) in Korba of Chhattisgarh.

    The workers were engaged in the construction of a new Balco power plant.

    The state labour commissioner has been directed to send a team of officials to Korba to talk to Balco management and ensure that the families are given adequate compensation, apart from the ex-gratia already announced by the state. Simdega and Garhwa deputy commissioners have been asked to give necessary assistance to the families.

    The Balco mishap happened when a 275-metre chimney that was being constructed on the plant premises was struck by lightning bringing down the structure. At least 13 people belonging to Jharkhand and 18 to Bihar were killed in the accident.

    A Chinese company, Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (Sepco), had bagged the contract for setting up the 1,200MW plant. The work for constructing 275-meter chimney was awarded to Gannon Dunkerley.

    Talking to The Telegraph labour commissioner Aradhana Patnaik said that 11 of the victims belonged to Simdega district alone and two to Garhwa. Last rites of the victims were performed yesterday at their native villages.

    District administrations of Simdega and Garhwa have granted Rs 10,000 to each of the aggrieved families to perform the last rites. The extremely poor families were also given free foodgrain and essential items.

    A team from the labour department has been dispatched to Korba to inspect the site. The team has been asked to submit a report at the earliest. This apart, the labour department has also sought detailed reports from the Korba deputy commissioner.

    “Officials have been directed to avail the first train or bus and examine the cause. I have already spoken to Korba deputy commissioner and requested him to fax us a report. I am also in constant touch with the deputy commissioners of Simdega and Garhwa districts,” said Patnaik.

    Sources in the Raj Bhavan added that the issue has been also taken up with the Chhattisgarh government, while minister Raman Singh, too, has ordered a judicial probe into the incident.
     
  7. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Airport authorities on look out for fleeing Chinese staff- Hindustan Times

    Airport authorities on look out for fleeing Chinese staff

    Indo-Asian News Service
    Raipur, September 27, 2009

    First Published: 15:42 IST(27/9/2009)
    Last Updated: 15:57 IST(27/9/2009)

    Authorities at the Mana Airport in Raipur are on an alert to stop Chinese nationals, employed at a Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (Balco) plant, from fleeing after an under-construction chimney collapsed on Wednesday killing at least 45 people, police said Sunday.

    "About 70 Chinese nationals, mostly engineers, have left Korba town amid rising death toll of workers," a police source told IANS.

    The Chinese nationals were employed in Korba town, 250 km north of here, by Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO) - a China-based company, which was given the contract to construct a 1,200-MW thermal power plant.

    SEPCO, in turn, had given a contract to Gannon Dunkerley and Company Ltd (GDCL) for construction of a 275-metre high chimney for the plant. So far, 45 bodies have been retrieved from the debris of the chimney scattered over a large area.

    Several workers are still feared to be trapped in the rubble.

    "Even the SEPCO office is locked. We need to stop them from fleeing Chhattisgarh, or even from India, as they need to be interrogated about the tragedy for a judicial probe," the police official said.
     

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