August 06, 2023

CWFI Condoles the Death of Construction Workers in Thane

ON August 1, 2023, the Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) issued a statement expressing condolences to the bereaved families of 17 construction workers who were killed when a girder machine collapsed on them during the third phase of construction on the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra's Thane district, in the early hours on August 1. Most of the deceased were migrant workers.

The CWFI highlighted that this tragic incident once again underscores the dire consequences of entrusting public infrastructure management, both at the state and central levels, to private corporate contractors under liberal deregulated formats, instead of relying on state-run public works departments. The outsourcing contract was given to a Swiss company by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. It is concerning to note that, over the last six months, a total of 88 lives have been lost in road accidents on the Samruddhi Expressway.

While deeply mourning and condoling the loss of lives, the CWFI has called for a comprehensive high-level judicial probe into the incident to investigate the cause and establish accountability. Simply arresting a few officials from the contract company would not be enough to address the inhuman negligence and callousness of the government. The CWFI demands that the central and state governments provide adequate compensation and employment opportunities to the families of the deceased.

The CWFI reiterates its demand to halt the privatisation of public infrastructure projects under the guise of contract-based building, repair, maintenance, and operation. Instead, the Federation asks for increased public investments and state intervention to strengthen the public works departments and ensure the safety and well-being of construction workers.