Saturday, January 30, 2010

Forest Deptt violates labour laws, children being exploited

They are paid just Rs 50/ cubic meter instead of 366 for protection wall and 766 for protection wall with crate.
JAMMU/DODA, JAN 30: The time when children need to carry school bags are being exploited by the Forest Department, which under Chenab Basin Project are engaged as labourers in construction of protection walls at sinking portions in order to protect the land from erosions.
Under this project the government department itself is violating the laws by employing the children as labourers. Not only this, the department is not paying them the actual cost of labour but also denying their right to education. The project has become the money minting project for the concerned officials. They are paying just Rs 50/ cubic meter instead of 366 for protection wall only and 766 for protection wall with crate as per 2003-04 rates. Sources said that rate has been revised as well. When the State Observer tried to contact DFO In-Charge project, he did not responded. When Chairman of the project of village Ganika, Mohammed Shafi Saidf was contacted he said that the DFO has never enquired for their presence nor did paid a single penny as salary for watchman for the last two years. Moreover, inspection team members never visited the upper reaches to see the works which have never been done but the bills have been withdrawn, sources said. Most of the protection walls have been constructed at the places in Mazmi area of Doda, where they were not required. (With inputs from Shezad Firoz)

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